The warning was sent at 4:45 p.m. on New Year’s Eve: A Rikers Island inmate, distraught over an imminent prison sentence, was threatening to harm himself and was possibly suicidal.
According to jail policy, correction officers should immediately have put the inmate, Fabian Cruz, on round-the-clock suicide observation. That did not happen. Rather, a full 24 hours after a mental health clinician sounded the alarm, Mr. Cruz was found dead in his cell, lying face up, a bedsheet wrapped around his neck, according to jail employees and internal documents.
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