NYC To Pay Record $5.9M Over Death Of Trans Inmate

The New York Times reports:

New York City has reached the largest settlement recorded over an inmate’s death at the Rikers Island jail complex, agreeing to pay $5.9 million to the family of a 27-year-old transgender woman who died there last year while in solitary confinement.

Layleen Polanco was found unresponsive in her cell in June 2019 after having an epileptic seizure. Her death prompted protest marches to draw attention to the discrimination transgender people say they often face in the criminal justice system. Her case also spurred Mayor Bill de Blasio to call for an end to solitary confinement in city jails.

The settlement, which is still being finalized, resolves a federal civil rights lawsuit brought by Ms. Polanco’s family in August 2019. Still, her sister, Melania Brown, said in an interview on Monday that it was “just the beginning of justice.”