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Prisoner dies at Rikers after being denied medical care

"In the hands of the guards at Rikers Island he couldn't get the treatment he needed," said Linda Mercado, the inmate's sister. "No human being should go out like that."
By Aileen Graef Follow @AileenGraef Contact the Author   |   Aug. 25, 2014 at 6:19 PM
NEW YORK, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- A lawsuit against the Department of Corrections and Corizon Health says a diabetic man died in Rikers Island prison after allegedly being denied medical treatment.

Carlos Mercado, 45, was arrested a year ago for heroin possession and sent to Rikers. After ahis arrival, he reportedly requested treatment for his diabetes and was given a preliminary exam but no treatment.

Mercado's family lawyer, Mark Taylor, said he could be heard screaming for help from his cell, but by the time the guards finally went to assist him he was dead.

"My brother had managed his diabetes for a long time, he knew how to take care of himself, but he could only do that if he had access to his medication. In the hands of the guards at Rikers Island he couldn't get the treatment he needed," said Linda Mercado, the inmate's sister. "No human being should go out like that."

Rikers doesn't have a good history with inmate care. In March, it was reported a homeless man held in the prison "baked to death" after being locked in a hot cell.

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