Federal takeover of Rikers Island being considered in court
Family, friends, and advocates rallied outside the U.S. District Court in lower Manhattan on Thursday ahead of a hearing where a federal takeover of Rikers Island is being considered.
The protest, which started in Foley Square, held signs about the 18 people who have died in custody or shortly after being released from Rikers this year, calling for the full shutdown of the jail.
Community members impacted by these 18 deaths marched through the streets of Manhattan to the U.S. District Courthouse in support of the hearing to consider a federal takeover of the jail.
Akeem Browder lost his brother Kalief to suicide while he was incarcerated at Rikers Island in 2015 and says the system and the government have failed him and others like him.
“We've had promises, we've had talks, we've had conversations, we've had meetings, town gatherings, all of this talk and no action,” said Akeem Browder. “We are not running away from this, we're standing ten toes down. My brother Kalief is just one of the many names."
The outcome of Thursday’s hearing is still being decided in court.