Senator Biaggi Issues Statement Regarding Tenth Death on Rikers This Year

Alessandra Biaggi

July 11, 2022

BRONX, NY – On Sunday evening, Elijah Muhammad was found “unresponsive” inside a Rikers Island cell and later declared dead. This marks the tenth death on Rikers this year alone. 

State Senator Alessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx/Westchester) issued the following statement:

“Rikers continues to be a death sentence for those who are sent there. While Rikers’ population is among the lowest it has been in years, deaths have spiked to an alarming all time high. 

The City's action plan was approved by Judge Swain one month ago– since then four incarcerated individuals have died. We are long past the notion that these are ‘isolated incidents.’ Rikers has proven that it cannot safeguard people’s lives, let alone their safety. It is evident that the Department of Corrections and the Mayor are ill equipped to solely bring an end to the humanitarian crisis on Rikers. It is time to put politics aside and accept that the City cannot solve this crisis alone. 

Once again, I am calling for Rikers to be placed under the control of a federal receiver in the interim. The only solution to end this crisis is to close Rikers.”