The Department of Correction has announced that a 27-year-old man died while in custody at Rikers Island on Thursday morning. Sadly, this marks the 9th death of a detainee at the facility this year.
According to a statement from the Department of Corrections, an individual in custody was discovered unresponsive this morning and later declared dead at around 6:20 a.m. The cause of death is yet to be determined by the medical examiner.
The department withholds the individual’s identity until the next of kin is notified. However, according to the Legal Aid Society, the man was a client of theirs, and his name was Manesh Kunwar.
On September 27th, Kunwar was apprehended in Queens on charges of robbery, grand theft, and two counts of bail jumping.
The social justice law firm expressed their deep sorrow and anger upon hearing about another Legal Aid client’s passing at Rikers Island. In their statement, they mentioned that Manesh Kunwar, who was just 27 years old, was held at the Eric M. Taylor Center for only seven days before his untimely death. During this difficult time, the law firm offered its heartfelt condolences to Mr Kunwar’s loved ones and community.
According to the statement, Mr Kunwar’s situation again brings attention to the detrimental effects of incarceration instead of receiving proper treatment. The tragic event could have been prevented if our client had access to essential services and a stable living environment.
In a scathing statement, the speaker criticized DOC for their inability to guarantee the safety and welfare of those in their custody and their incompetence in executing fundamental jail operations. The statement ended with a demand for immediate accountability from DOC and a thorough and transparent inquiry into the events that led to Mr Kunwar’s untimely demise.
According to recent reports, there were 19 fatalities in city jails in 2022, while the number was 16 in the previous year of 2021.
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