A New York transgender woman was found dead inside of her jail cell in Rikers Island and now her family wants answers.
PIX 11 reported that 27-year-old Layleen Xtravanganza Cubilette-Polanco was found dead in her cell Friday afternoon at the Rose M. Singer Center, the Rikers Island jail for female inmates. An investigation is underway by the New York City Department of Corrections and officials reported on Twitter Saturday that the cause of death was not due to foul play:
“The Department is investigating the tragic death of a transgender female detainee in our custody. We take this matter extremely seriously. We have so far determined the death was not the result of violence or foul play. We will share more information as we determine the cause.”
Polanco’s family released a statement Sunday saying that the city of New York failed to protect Layleen and are stunned by the lack of answers from the Mayor’s Office, NYPD, and Department of Corrections.
“Just days ago, Mayor Bill de Blasio dedicated a momument to two pioneering transgender activists, telling the trans community that ‘we are sending a clear message: We see you..and we will protect you.’ The city failed to protect Layleen, and now it is trying to sweep her death under the rug. We will not allow it,”
Many activist groups are forming to demand answers for Layleen’s death in Manhattan and her sister created a GoFundMe account to help pay for funeral expenses. The description stated that Polanco was expected to be released from jail the following week. She was in jail since April for drug possession and assault.
Pose actress and model Indya Moore went live on her Instagram page and compared Polanco to Sandra Bland, a black woman who died inside of her jail cell three days after her arrest.
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