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    TRAGIC

    Activists Call for Rikers Island to Be Shut Down After Trans Woman Dies

    Spencer Platt/Getty

    Activists rallied in New York on Monday after a transgender woman’s death at Rikers Island last week, local news station News12 reports. The group called for Rikers to be shut down after 27-year-old Layleen Polanco was found unresponsive in her cell Friday afternoon. According to the New York City Department of Correction, officials performed CPR and used a defibrillator before declaring her dead about an hour after she was found. An investigation into her death is still ongoing, but the DOC suspects no foul play and has determined her death was not related to violence. “This is a tragic loss and we extend our deepest condolences to her family,” Department of Correction Commissioner Cynthia Brann said in a statement. “We are conducting a full investigation as the safety and well-being of people in our custody is our top priority.”

    Polanco was arrested after she allegedly attacked a cab driver and failed to pay her fare in April. Her sister told News12 Polanco was due for release in about a week. “We will not allow Layleen’s death to be swept under the rug,” the family’s lawyer said.