Advocates rally for Layleen Polanco at City Hall Wednesday

Several hundred supporters gathered at Foley Square in Manhattan on Monday to honor the memory of Layleen Polanco, a trans woman found dead at Rikers Island.  Eagle  photos by Phineas Rueckert.

Several hundred supporters gathered at Foley Square in Manhattan on Monday to honor the memory of Layleen Polanco, a trans woman found dead at Rikers Island. Eagle photos by Phineas Rueckert.

By Phineas Rueckert 

Activists, family members and elected officials will gather at City Hall Wednesday at noon to rally for Layleen Xtravaganza Cubilette-Polanco, the Afro-Latinx trans woman who was found dead at Rikers Island earlier this month

Activists will “demand accountability and lay out policy changes that must happen to end the convergence of carceral systems that led to Polanco’s death,” according to a statement shared with the Eagle by the Anti-Violence Project. 

“[H]er family still does not have answers about what happened while she was detained,” the press release said. 

Wednesday’s rally comes just over two weeks after similar groups rallied in front of the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse on June 10

Polanco had been held at Rikers for two months on a $500 bail charge stemming from allegedly biting a cab driver and carrying a so-called “crack pipe,” according to The Appeal. Just over a week after the initial rally, The City reported that the solitary detention unit at the Rose M. Singer center where Polanco had been detained had been shut down indefinitely

Various lawmakers, including U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson have called for an end to solitary confinement. But last week a bill that would have significantly curtailed the use of solitary confinement in New York State failed to pass the legislator.