The family of Bradley Ballard, Rikers Island inmate who died on Sept. 11, 2013 after he was thrown into solitary confinement for a week, filed a lawsuit against the city and Corrections Department for what they alleged was his wrongful death.
In a letter to the city, Ballard's mother Beverly Ann Griffin expressed her own emotional distress.
"When you took my son away from me, part of me died too," she wrote. "I will never be the same again."
Griffen, 61, told reporters that she is unable to visit her son's grave, and that she believes the jail's staff did nothing to save her son.
His last arrest was in June 2013 in his hometown of Houston but was extradited to New York for violating parole. Once back, he was sent to Rikers and put in isolation.
The lawsuit argues he went seven days without proper medication and was eventually found weakened, covered in feces and vomit with infected genitals after he mutilated himself with a rubber band. Ballard died soon after.
The lawsuit, which is being reviewed by the city's Law Department, seeks unspecified damages.
"The level of abuse, indifference and misconduct at the heart of this case is stunning and unconscionable," the suit read.
Rikers Island has been at the center of controversy over the last eight months as the number of complaints against corrections officers mistreatment of both young and mentally ill inmates have been raised by various family members, elected leaders and oversight groups.
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