Rally to close Rikers Island held outside City Hall following inmate death over weekend

Prison reform advocates and the family of an inmate who died in Department of Correction custody over the weekend rallied outside City Hall, calling for the closure of Rikers Island.  
The DOC says that 28-year-old Erick Tavira committed suicide on Saturday at Rikers Island, and the family of Tavira is urging the city to shut the jail’s doors before more lives are lost. 
The facility has been highly criticized in recent years for the conditions inside and practices such as solitary confinement.  
Tavira’s family has filed a wrongful death suit against the city, and they’re joining prison reform advocates to push the City Council to pass a bill that would end solitary confinement in city jails.  
DOC Commissioner Louis. A. Molina provided the following comment regarding Tavira’s death: 
“Our deepest condolences go out to Mr. Tavira’s family, friends and loved ones in their time of grief. We take the health and safety of everyone in our custody seriously, and we are conducting a preliminary investigation into this death."