Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Press Release

Color of Change: Anthony Scott’s Tragic Death Serves as Painful Reminder of Humanitarian Crisis at Rikers Island

WASHINGTON -

Scott Roberts, Senior Director of Criminal Justice and Democracy Campaigns at Color Of Change, issued this statement following the death of Anthony Scott, the 14th incarcerated individual to die at Rikers Island this year:

“Anthony Scott should still be alive today. His death, which follows the deaths of thirteen other Black and Brown individuals incarcerated at Rikers this year, serves as another painful reminder of the humanitarian crisis happening in New York City’s backyard. To address this crisis, we need decarceration.

“While Black and Brown people make up 52 percent of the city’s population, they are ninety percent of the population at Rikers Island, an overwhelming majority because they cannot pay bail, leading to a two-tiered system of injustices wherein the human costs are enormous. In the past eighteen months, Rikers has seen multiple waves of COVID-19 outbreaks, unconscionable violence, and corruption. But instead of releasing people on their own recognizance amid this crisis, DAs continue to set bail well above what people can pay. Mass incarceration has always been dangerous. But now, during the spiraling crisis on Rikers Island, it can be a death sentence.

“New York officials must address the Rikers Island disaster, and that begins with New York’s prosecutors. These individuals wield tremendous power in stemming the tide of violence against incarcerated individuals, but none of them choose to use it. In Manhattan, which accounts for one-fifth of the city’s total population but is responsible for one-third of Rikers Island’s population, District Attorney Cy Vance is fueling New York’s mass incarceration crisis. New York prosecutors must stop requesting money bail and enabling violence Rikers if we ever hope to end this crisis and protect Black and Brown lives.” 

###

Color Of Change is the nation’s largest online racial justice organization. We help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by over one million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America.

Amid Existential Threat to Reproductive Rights, Congress Urged to Act

"It's the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and if we don't fight like hell it could very well be the last," said one campaigner, who called on U.S. lawmakers to pass the Women's Health Protection Act.

Brett Wilkins ·


Black Mississippi State Senators Stage Walkout as Critical Race Theory Ban Passed

"We cannot continue to stumble into the future backwards," said one Black senator who taught for 33 years. "That's what this bill does."

Brett Wilkins ·


Buddhist Monk and Peace Activist Thích Nhất Hạnh Dead at 95

"He inspired so many good people to dedicate themselves to working for a more just and compassionate world."

Jessica Corbett ·


Draft Order Shows Trump Considered Using Military to Seize Voting Machines

"This was part of the records that Trump was fighting to keep from the January 6th committee," one government watchdog noted.

Brett Wilkins ·


Groups Warn US Lawmakers Against Fueling 'New Cold War' With China

A policy of hostility toward Beijing, says a global justice advocate, has "become a convenient excuse for pushing a corporate, militarist agenda."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo