Man who died by suicide at Rikers had historical past of psychological sickness, lawsuit claims

A 25-year-old pre-trial detainee at Rikers Island who died by suicide final August suffered from bipolar dysfunction, despair, and a number of sclerosis — however he was neither prescribed treatment nor monitored as a suicide danger, in accordance with a lawsuit filed Wednesday.

On the primary anniversary of his demise, Brandon Rodriguez’s mom sued the town and jail staff for improperly caring for him regardless of his historical past of psychological and bodily sickness.

Rodriguez took his personal life in a caged bathe cell in a harmful consumption space of the jail advanced the place he had been held for days, in violation of metropolis guidelines, the swimsuit says. He was locked within the bathe for hours with out a mattress or chair; all of the whereas he was affected by a damaged orbital bone and bruises resulting from being assaulted by different incarcerated folks two days earlier, in accordance with the swimsuit.

Rodriguez was beforehand incarcerated at Rikers Island, so attorneys for his household argue that jail workers ought to have been conscious of his medical and psychological well being historical past. Nonetheless, this data was not documented or acted on, the swimsuit alleges. Town is going through a separate lawsuit for failing to deliver detainees to medical appointments.

The swimsuit from Rodriguez’s mom, Tamara Carter, lays out how three days earlier than his demise, he known as a buddy to say that he was awake for days as a result of there weren’t beds within the consumption space of the jail the place he was held. And two days previous to his demise, he was assaulted by a gaggle of detainees and brought by ambulance to Elmhurst Hospital, the place he was handled for the orbital fracture.

The swimsuit alleges {that a} Rikers medical skilled famous in a report that Rodriguez had beforehand been medicated for temper problems on the jail, and that particular person quoted Rodriguez as saying he was anxious and wanted assist. However he was nonetheless put in punitive segregation in a bathe cell.

Gothamist beforehand reported how caged showers, meant for use to decontaminate those that are hit with officers’ chemical spray, are employed as a de facto type of solitary confinement at Rikers. Those that endure from psychological sickness are usually not alleged to be held in any type of solitary, in accordance with metropolis guidelines.

Rodriguez, who was held on $10,000 bail for a misdemeanor cost associated to a home violence incident, was one in every of 16 folks to die final 12 months in metropolis custody. The speed of demise is even increased this 12 months, with 11 detainees having died in metropolis custody or shortly after launch, thus far.

On the time of Rodriguez’s demise, the self-harm charge on the facility was spiking — significantly in consumption areas.

A spokesperson for the town regulation division, Nicholas Paolucci, stated in an announcement that “any demise in custody is tragic,” and the case might be reviewed.


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