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Another Rikers Island detainee dies – second death this week, 12th for the year

An NYC Department of Corrections vehicle drives in the entrance to Rikers Island facility in Queens, in New York, U.S., February 14, 2018. (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo)

Another Rikers Island detainee has died in custody Wednesday, Sept. 22, marking the second death this week and the 12th this year as crisis conditions worsen at the beleaguered jail complex. 

Stephen Khadu, 34, was pronounced deceased at 10:50 a.m. after he was brought from the Vernon C. Bain Center to Lincoln Hospital due to “medical distress,” according to Department of Correction officials. 

“I am devastated to see that we have yet another death in custody, and determined to stop this heartbreaking trend,” said DOC Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi in a statement. “We are doing all we can to remedy the unprecedented crisis we are experiencing in our jails. My thoughts and prayers are with the individual’s loved ones.”

Officials with the city’s Chief Medical Examiner have not yet released his cause of death. 

Khadu was taken into DOC custody on Dec. 19, 2019, on second degree murder charges, according to the agency. 

His death follows that of Isaabdul Karim, who was being held on a parole violation, died inside the jail Sunday, Sept. 19, just two weeks after the death of Esias Johnson. 

Politicians and advocates have called on Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Kathy Hochul to intervene in the ever-worsening chaos at Rikers. 

“Twelve people so far this year, three in the last month, have been sentenced to death on Rikers Island. I would be speechless in horror and grief if I were not so angry, and so heartbroken that we have reached this point,” said Public Advocate Jumaane Williams in a statement. 

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