Gilberto Garcia Died In Custody While Being Held At Rikers Island Prison
RIKERS ISLAND, NEW YORK (November 3, 2022) – A 26-year-old inmate identified as Gilberto Garcia has tragically died while being held at the Rikers Island Prison.
New York City police officials are saying that the incident began on Monday. Gilberto Garcia was at the the Anna M. Kross Center when correctional officers noticed that he was unresponsive.
Paramedics were called in order to help the inmate. Sadly, Gilberto Garcia was later pronounced dead. Jail officials believe that the inmate died from a drug overdose.
A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For Rikers Island Inmate Deaths
There have been 18 inmate deaths so far this year at the Rikers Island prison. The jail has a long and sordid reputation. According to monitors in one class action suit, Rikers Island is marked by “violence among incarcerated people, violence at the hands of [s]taff, and violence toward [s]taff, in addition to a disturbing rise in self-harming behavior.” There are a number of steps that jail officials should normally take to help keep inmates safe.
- Jails should be adequately staffed.
- Correctional officers should be well trained.
- Correctional officers and inmates should be properly supervised.
Every jail in New York has a legal duty to provide inmates with a reasonably safe environment and adequate medical care. Failure to give inmates adequate medical care is a deprivation of their right to equal protection and due process under the constitution. In particular, many inmates that are undergoing a drug overdose are not given proper care. Drug overdoses are largely reversible with proper care and medication such as naloxone. There are a number of steps that should be taken after any inmate death.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- Medical records should be preserved.
- An autopsy may need to be performed.
- An experienced personal injury attorney should be consulted.
If a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a negligence claim. The family of any inmate that died in custody may have legal recourse through a wrongful death claim. Damages in a civil claim can help cover many of the expenses that come with the sudden loss of a loved one. A wrongful death attorney can examine all of the facts of your case and let you know what your legal options are.
Investigating A Rikers Island Inmate Death
We at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. extend our deepest condolences to the family of Gilberto Garcia. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. There needs to be a thorough investigation for the sake of the victim’s family.
Do you need more information about a Rikers Island inmate death? Our team of inmate’s rights advocates are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that inmates are aware of their rights and that those rights are being protected. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any incident, we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (516) 908-9792.