- Layleen Cubilette-Polanco died in solitary confinement at Rikers Island in June 2019 after having an epileptic seizure.
- According to a report by the city's Board of Correction, Polanco was placed in solitary confinement and experienced at least two seizures while in custody.
- Her family settled with the City of New York for $5.9 million on Monday, the largest settlement amount of its kind.
- "I have no faith in the city, I have no faith in anything that they do, besides them paying people out, that's all they do," Polanco's sister Melania Brown told The New York Times.
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Layleen Xtravaganza Cubilette-Polanco, a 27-year-old transgender woman, died in a jail cell in June of last year.
She was being held at at Rikers Island after not being able to afford her $500 bail.
The City of New York has now reached a settlement of $5.9 million with her family — the largest of its kind, The City reported on Sunday.
"This settlement will allow Layleen's family to move forward without enduring years of protracted litigation and reliving their trauma," the family's lawyer, David Shanies, told The City in a statement.
Polanco was arrested in April last year on misdemeanor charges of assault and harassment, then taken into custody after she missed court dates, CNN reported, citing court records.
Layleen Polanco was found unresponsive in her cell after having an epileptic seizure, which an autopsy later confirmed was the cause of her death.
In June, the New York City Board of Correction published a report detailing the failures that led up to Polanco's death. Mayor Bill de Blasio announced 17 officers with the New York City Department of Correction would be disciplined.
Polanco had a history of being medicated for epilepsy, but was placed in solitary confinement and experienced at least two seizures while in custody, the report said. Officers did not check on Polanco as required and after she was found unresponsive, they waited 90 minutes before calling for medical assistance.
"I have no faith in the city, I have no faith in anything that they do, besides them paying people out, that's all they do," Melania Brown, Polanco's sister, told The New York Times on Monday. "That's their way of saying sorry. I do hope this settlement makes a powerful statement that Black trans lives do matter and that we need a change moving forward."
"The death of Ms. Polanco was an absolute tragedy and our thoughts remain with her family and loved ones," the City Law Department said in a statement on Monday. "The city will continue to do everything it can to make reforms towards a correction system that is fundamentally safer, fairer, and more humane."
The same month Polanco was arrested, New York state passed bail reform legislation that ended cash bail for most misdemeanors. The legislation took effect this January.
"This is just the beginning of justice for my sister; this is not even close to being justice for her," Brown told The City. "Justice would be holding those people who had something to do with my sister's death accountable for their actions."
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