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Home / Tips and Tricks / New York City Reaches $ 9.5 million in severance pay for the death of a transgender woman who was unable to pay $ 500 bail

New York City Reaches $ 9.5 million in severance pay for the death of a transgender woman who was unable to pay $ 500 bail



The transgender woman was arrested and taken to the prison complex in April 2019 for unable to afford $ 500 bail, her family previously told CNN. She was found unresponsive in her cell on June 7, 2019 and was later pronounced dead.

Civil rights groups say Polanco’s death was a web of factors that can hold colored people in the justice system – especially colored transgender women – with devastating consequences.

Her death also renewed conversation about the dangers of bail and pre-trial detention, and raised questions about whether New York’s recent bail reform laws could have saved her.

“The family believes this is a fair and appropriate solution, given the circumstances,”

; said Shanies. “Obviously all they want is to have their daughter and sister back.”

City calls her death “an absolute tragedy”

Polanco was arrested for assault and harassment, court records show. She was taken into custody for missing court dates as part of an alternative to the detention program on charges of prostitution.

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

An autopsy revealed that Polanco died of complications from epilepsy.

Her family says the decision to put her in solitary confinement despite knowing she had epilepsy contributed to her death, Shanies said last year.

New York now has bail reform law

New York State passed bail reform bill in April 2019 that ends bail for most offenses and nonviolent offenses.

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

“Polanco was caught at the intersection of appalling criminal policy, and that systemic violence resulted in her death,” said Audacia Ray of the New York Anti-Violence Project last year.

Contributions by Elizabeth Joseph and Taylor Romine of CNN; and previously published CNN reports are included in this article


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