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Department of Correction: 8th person dies at Rikers Island this year

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By: News 12 Staff via News12 Brooklyn

Department of Correction: 8th person dies at Rikers Island this year

Aug 22, 2023, 1:27pmUpdated 23h ago

By: News 12 Staff

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An eighth person has died this year at Rikers Island on Tuesday, according to the New York City Department of Correction.

The DOC said Donny Ubiera, 33, was found unresponsive in his cell in the George R. Vierno Center just after 5 a.m.

Officials say Ubiera was being held at Rikers after being arrested for the assault of two people in separate unprovoked stabbings in Queens in June of last year. Ubiera had been in DOC custody since March 29.

A representative from the Katal Center for Equity, Health and Justice says that the deaths at Rikers Island have been on the rise since Mayor Eric Adams took office, saying that this is the 27th person to die in DOC custody since Adams began his term. 

“You can’t help to think who’s next, and that’s just terrible,” said Melanie Dominguez, lead community organizer for the Katal Center. “We should be assured that our loved ones that are detained, [the] majority who haven’t been convicted of anything, are safe, and they are New Yorkers and they deserve better.”

The cause of Ubiera’s death is unknown.

Black Lives Matter said in a joint statement with other organizations against mass incarceration that if Rikers is not closed that the deaths will continue to come. They also are calling for a federal receivership that would strip New York City of its control over Rikers Island. 

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