Mom Files Lawsuit after Inmate Commits Suicide at Rikers

Justice scale on blue backgroundThe mother of 31-year-old Quannell Offley, who committed suicide in a Rikers Island solitary confinement cell on December 3, 2013, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city on February 10.

Offley was arrested on an attempted robbery charge and was sentenced to 4 years in prison. He was later placed in solitary confinement, even after he repeatedly told the jail guards that he was suicidal. According to the investigative documents, a guard once replied to him, “If you have the balls, go ahead and do it.”

According to Paul Weitz, who is representing the victim’s mother Desdemona Offley in her lawsuit, Offley committed suicide just days after he attempted to use a bedsheet tied to an air vent for killing himself. “He was begging to be transferred to a medical facility and they couldn’t have cared less…It is hard to believe that in this day and age we treat our prisoners in this country so callously.”

The lawsuit, which was filed in Bronx Supreme Court, claims unspecified damages.

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