Family settles lawsuit over death of transwoman in NYC jail

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The interior of a solitary confinement cell at New York’s Rikers Island jail on January 28, 2016. (AP / Bebeto Matthews)

NEW YORK (AP) — The family of a transgender woman with epilepsy who died in an isolated cell in New York City’s Rikers Island jail complex has settled its lawsuit with the city for $5.9 million.

David Shanies, a lawyer for the family of Layleen Polanco, says the settlement was reached Friday in the family’s federal lawsuit over Polanco’s death on June 7, 2019. The terms of the settlement were not made public.

Shanies said he hopes the deal means Polanco’s wonderful and devoted family “can find some small measure of peace.”

A spokesperson for the New York City law department said Polanco’s death “was an absolute tragedy.”

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