Advocates call on city leaders to shut down Rikers Island following 19th inmate death

Organizers gathered at City Hall Tuesday in an effort to close down Rikers Island following the death of a 19th inmate while in Department of Corrections custody or shortly after leaving so far this year.
Outrage at the jail is now boiling over after the Department of Corrections announced that Edgardo Mejias, 39, died Sunday evening while in custody at Rikers Island.
Elected officials joined with community members calling for the jail to lock its doors for good.
Tuesday's rally at City Hall comes just before an oversight hearing from the Committee of Criminal Justice requiring the DOC to create an action plan to address staffing, security, and violence compliance.
The hearing will also allow testimony for two bills: require the DOC to provide an annual report on medical care for incarcerated pregnant people and require the city to find individuals within each borough whose cases can be resolved.