Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ US https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ New York reaches $ 9.5 million settlement on death of transgender woman unable to pay $ 500 bail

New York reaches $ 9.5 million settlement on death of transgender woman unable to pay $ 500 bail



The transgender woman was arrested in April 2019 and sent to a prison complex because she could not afford a $ 500 bail, her family told CNN earlier. On June 7, 2019, she was found unresponsive in her cell and later pronounced dead.

Civil rights groups say Polanco’s death is a network of factors that can catch colored people in the justice system – especially transgender colored women – with devastating results.

Her death also rekindled talk of the dangers of bail and detention, raising questions about whether New York’s recent bail reform laws could have saved her.

The settlement was first reported by the city. Family lawyer David Shannis confirmed it to CNN on Monday.

“The family thinks this is a fair and appropriate agreement in the circumstances,”

; Shannis said. “Obviously they want nothing more than to bring their daughter and sister back.”

City calls her death an “absolute tragedy”

Polanco has been arrested on charges of assault and harassment, according to court records. She was detained because she missed court dates as part of an alternative to the imprisonment program stemming from allegations of prostitution, according to court records.

“Ms. Polanco’s death was an absolute tragedy and our thoughts remain with her family and loved ones,” a statement from the city’s legal department said Monday. “The city will continue to do its utmost to make reforms to a correction system that is fundamentally safer, fairer and more humane.”

An autopsy found that Polanco had died of complications from epilepsy.

Her family says the decision to place her in solitary confinement, even though they knew she had epilepsy, contributed to her death, Shannis said last year.

New York now has a law on bail reform

In April 2019, New York State passed bail reform legislation that ended the bail for most crimes and nonviolent crimes.

If Polanco had been arrested after January 2020, when the new measures came into force, she would not have been on bail.

“Polanco was caught at the crossroads of terrible criminal law policies and this systemic violence led to her death,” said Audasia Ray of the New York Anti-Violence Project last year.

Contributions by Elizabeth Joseph and Taylor Romin of CNN; and previously published CNN reporting is included in this article


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