Many have been wondering about the tragic death of trans woman Layleen Polanco who died in a jail cell at Rikers Island. Layleen Polanco, 27, was pronounced dead in a Rikers cell at 3:45 p.m. on Friday, but a jail officer didn't discover her until an hour later unconscious.
The cause of death still has yet to be determined but according to The City, Layleen was in solitary confinement at the time of her death. The restrictive housing unit where Polanco died stays in lock down for 17 hours of the day. Jail officials put Polanco in solitary confinement as punishment for her part in a fight, sources said.
According to Manhattan District Attorney's Office, an undercover cop arrested Polanco in August 2017 for allegedly agreeing to engage in oral sex for money and having a crack pipe in her pocket. She was being held on $500 bail for prostitution and lowest level drug possession charges according to court records Gaye obtained.
According to The City, after Polanco’s 2017 arrest, her case was sent to Manhattan’s Human Trafficking court. Because she missed dates to appear there, there was a warrant open for her arrest.
In April, Polanco was arrested for allegedly biting a cabbie. A judge set bail at $500. A few days later, she was ordered released in the assault case. But the $500 bail on the drug and prostitution charges still stood.
Layleen was a member of the House of Xtravanagza. Many of her family and friends demonstrated in Manhattan's Foley Square on Monday night to bring awareness to passing. We will continue to provide more details and as this case develops.