Hundreds of people packed into Foley Square to mourn the death of Layleen Polanco, a 27-year-old transgender woman who died while being held in solitary confinement on Rikers Island, May 10, 2019.
Photo: Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY
The solitary confinement unit in the women’s jail on Rikers Island has been shut since Layleen Polanco died there earlier this month, THE CITY has learned.
Detainees in the woman’s punitive segregation ward were moved out amid the investigation into the June 7 death and have remained away since, according to the Correction Department.
Polanco was on her ninth day of a 20-day sentence in punitive segregation when she was pronounced dead in her cell at 3:45 p.m. The cause of her death has not been determined by the city Medical Examiner.
The 27-year-old transgender woman had been held since mid-April on $500 bail linked to misdemeanor sex work and drug possession charges.
Polanco’s death in jail left loved ones grasping for answers — and galvanized politicians who decried the web of low-level arrests, bail and solitary confinement that ensnared her. Her death comes
as activists push for statewide limits to solitary confinement, which also would apply to city jails.
“I think solitary confinement is cruel and unusual punishment and we need to get away from it,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who called Polanco’s death “a wake-up call.”
On May 16, Polanco
was sent from Rikers to Elmhurst Hospital for undisclosed reasons and stayed there for eight days, returning to the jail May 24. On May 30, she was sentenced to 20 days of punitive segregation as punishment for her role in a fight that day.
NYC Health + Hospitals has not released the reason for Polanco’s hospitalization, citing patient privacy. People with serious mental or physical disabilities or conditions are not allowed in solitary confinement, under city rules. The agency said Polanco was checked for health reasons that would exclude her from solitary before being placed there.
The de Blasio administration has moved to reduce the number of inmates in solitary, and
ended punitive segregation for young adults 21 and youngerin city jails in 2016. Medical experts say the practice causes serious health harms, especially for younger detainees.
But the city has not ended solitary for women and men 22 and older. As of Monday, 119 men were being held in such units. Some 30 of them were in a so-called “Restrictive Housing Unit,” like the one where Polanco died, according to the city’s Board of Correction, which oversees the jails.
Concord police arrested a 23-year-old man Monday and charged him with threatening to kill indiscriminately people of the Jewish faith.
Police, along with the FBI, found out about Ross Anthony Farca’s plot through a tip from someone who saw him post threats on a popular gaming website.
According to the charging documents, Farca had a fascination with Hitler and a hatred for people of the Jewish faith. He’s been on the Concord police and FBI’s radar as a possible terrorist.
Neighbors said that they’ve been concerned with Farca’s behavior for many years and that they believe he had a propensity for violence and they’re glad he’s behind bars.
It happened Thursday afternoon in Thetford. Police say Kevin Bacon, 55, was searching on his phone for an episode of the ’90s television sitcom “Saved by the Bell” while he was driving down Interstate 91. They say he sideswiped a police cruiser parked in the breakdown lane with flashing blue lights.
Bacon then continued north, fleeing the scene, according to police. The trooper was able to catch Bacon and he was arrested for gross negligent operation, leaving the scene of a crash, texting while driving, and operation on approach of emergency vehicles.
He’ll be in court later next month.
Biden Tells Elite Donors He Doesn’t Want to ‘Demonize’ the Rich
June 18, 2019, 8:53 PM EDT
Joe Biden Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
Former Vice President Joe Biden told affluent donors Tuesday that he wanted their support and — perhaps unlike some other Democratic presidential candidates — wouldn’t be making them political targets because of their wealth.
“Remember, I got in trouble with some of the people on my team, on the Democratic side, because I said, you know, what I’ve found is rich people are just as patriotic as poor people. Not a joke. I mean, we may not want to demonize anybody who’s made money,” Biden told about 100 well-dressed donors at the Carlyle Hotel on New York’s Upper East Side, where the hors d’oeuvres included lobster, chicken satay and crudites.
Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg
“Truth of the matter is, you all know, you all know in your gut what has to be done,” Biden said. “We can disagree in the margins. But the truth of the matter is, it’s all within our wheelhouse and nobody has to be punished. No one’s standard of living would change. Nothing would fundamentally change,” he said.
Former Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and former Deputy Treasury Secretary Roger Altman, both of whom spent decades on Wall Street, were among the attendees at the event.
Earlier: Biden’s New York Fundraisers Draw Finance and Fashion Stars
Invoking Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’s goal of political “revolution,” Biden suggested that he would be the antidote by making marginal changes that would improve the lives of working and middle class Americans without slapping onerous taxes on the rich.
“When you have income inequality as large as we have in the United States today, it brews and ferments political discord and basic revolution,” he said. Also perhaps hinting at President Donald Trump he continued: “It allows demagogues to step in” and blame what’s wrong in voters’ lives on “the other.”
“You’re not the other,” Biden told the assembled group, most of whom were wearing suits. “I need you very badly.”
Christian prophet Cindy Jacobs on The Jim Bakker Show (Video: Right Wing Watch)
A Christian ‘prophet’ has claimed her fellow Christians will “rise up” and declare “civil war” if the Equality Act is passed in the US.
Cindy Jacobs, a Christian author and speaker with a self-proclaimed
“heart for prophetic gifts,” appeared on The Jim Bakker Show, a weekday talk show specialising in “prophecy and end time news,” on Tuesday (June 17).
Appearing alongside a panel of Christian guest speakers in a segment titled, “What the rest of 2019 will bring,” Jacobs warned the audience that conservative Christians would start a civil war if the
Equality Act becomes law.
“There is gonna be a shaking and Christians will rise up.”
— Cindy Jacobs, Christian ‘prophet’
She said: “We are the voice preparing the way, and there does come a time when things turn. When suddenly the Lord says, ‘OK, no more, I’m not going to put up with this anymore.’
“We would even come to a civil war if this continues.”
It Looks Like Germany’s Worst Fear Just Happened: a Far-right Political Assassination
For years, experts have
warned that Germany’s increasingly radicalized far right would one day lash out with deadly violence against a politician. Now it appears this nightmare scenario has finally happened, underlining the arrival of a dangerous new political reality for the country.
announced Monday that the country’s federal prosecutor had taken over the investigation into the June 2 murder of Walter Lübcke, a prominent pro-refugee local politician, who investigators suspect was killed in a politically motivated assassination by a right-wing extremist. A 45-year-old man, arrested on Saturday on suspicion of having shot Lübcke, has a long track record of right-wing extremist associations, and a history of violent and xenophobic crimes, German media outlets reported.
In Denver’s recent city council election, Albus Brooks, a well-funded, two-term incumbent councilman, was defeated in a June 4 runoff by a 32-year-old policy wonk and community organizer named Candi CdeBaca. A fifth-generation Denver native with a no-bullshit political style, CdeBaca has drawn comparisons from
right-wing media and leftist groups alike to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the congresswoman from New York City.
“Bet you never saw that coming,” she told me on the phone earlier this week.
The comparison makes sense: Like AOC, CdeBaca is a Democratic Socialist and Latina, two identity labels that made both of their victories historic. (A third for CdeBaca: She’s queer.) But her political aptitude and potential were never lost on me—they’re hard to miss.
Whoopi Goldberg and Bella Thorne. ABC / Bella Thorne
Bella Thorne decided to leak her own nude photos when a hacker threatened her with them.
Whoopi Goldberg criticized the 21-year-old actress and model on “The View” for taking them in the first place.
“Listen, if you’re famous, I don’t care how old you are, you don’t take nude pictures of yourself,” she said.
On her Instagram story, Thorne likened this to victim-blaming and said Goldberg’s comments were “sick and honestly disgusting.”
“Shame on you, Whoopi, shame on you,” she said. “And shame on you for putting that public opinion just out there like that for every young girl to think that they’re disgusting for even taking a photo like that.”
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Bella Thorne decided to take matters into her own hands when a hacker threatened to release her nude photos. But when Whoopi Goldberg tried to make her feel bad about it, she went onto Instagram to criticize her right back.
On June 15, rather than let the hacker win, she
posted very not safe for work screenshots of their conversation on Twitter.
“I feel gross, I feel watched, I feel someone has taken something from me that I only wanted one special person to see,” the 21-year-old actress and model wrote. “He has sent me multiple nude photos of other celebs, he won’t stop with me or them he will just keep going.”
Read more: Bella Thorne posted nude photos of herself on Twitter after a hacker allegedly threatened to leak them
But one person who didn’t appear to have any sympathy was fellow actress Goldberg.
On ABC’s “The View,” Goldberg’s cohost Sunny Hostin said it saddens her that young people have to go through things like this.
“I guess it’s the age of social media” she said. “For someone to extort her and threaten her with posting these pictures, it’s terrible.”
Goldberg, however, wasn’t convinced.
“Listen, if you’re famous, I don’t care how old you are, you don’t take nude pictures of yourself,” she said. “When they’re hacking you, they’re hacking all of your stuff. So whether it’s one picture or a million pictures, once you take that picture, it goes into the cloud and it’s available to any hacker who wants it.
“And if you don’t know that in 2019 that this is an issue, I’m sorry. You don’t get to do that.”