The death of a young transgender woman #LalyeenPolanco has come back to the spotlight after her family released a video proving that her death could have been preventable.
As we previously reported, Layleen Polanco passed away last year, June 2019 after being charged with misdemeanor assault. Polanco was a drag employee at House Extravaganza and was unable to pay the 500$ bail. As a result, she was sent to Riker's Island, a jail known for its violence and neglect to inmates. Layleen died of a epileptic seizure. Knowing that Layleen had epilepsy jail policy mandates that she be checked on every fifteen minutes for safety.
The video released by the Polanco family officers had 45 minutes before checking on her again and it was an hour and a half before calling below. The video shows starting at 5:56 that she was visited at 1:47pm and then again at 2:27pm,
In the video, you will see at point 6:45 the two officers on patrol knocking on her door as they had done previously and then finally opening it only to stand in the doorway and converse with one another. The lack of urgency got worse after the two officers began to laugh, not noticing or even checking as to why Layleen was not answering them.
The officers continued to call her from the doorway for over three minutes while never stepping into the doorway or going to check her pulse. Many may say that it is the safety of the officers that prevented them from going in, however Layleen's lack of response should have been a clue. By the 11 minute point on the video the medic and officers are trying to resuscitate her.
Now the community and Polanco family mourn over the death and lack of regard for Layleen's wellbeing. Sympathizers have demanded action however the Bronx District Attorney announced that the guards would only face "administrative action" and could not be held criminally responsible for the death.
The Executive Director of the New York Anti-Violence project told Buzzfeed, "Thousands of transgender people are regularly subjected to neglect and violence and stripped of their humanity within our nation's jails and prisons.These acts of state violence have to stop."'
Watch the Video Below: