Mayor Adams on Wednesday denied there was a coverup in the death of a man who hanged himself in a holding cell in Bronx Criminal Court — but whose death wasn’t included in a tally of detainee fatalities.
Antonio Bradley, 28, used his clothing to hang himself June 10. The Correction Department was aware almost right away that Bradley was in a vegetative state and would not recover, said Cary London, his family’s lawyer.
Though the holding cells are the Correction Department’s responsibility, the department did not count Bradley’s passing as a death in custody, and did not publicly disclose it, because he was declared dead days later outside the jail system at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx.
Adams insisted during a visit to Rikers Island on Wednesday that the Correction Department properly classified the case.
The Daily News Flash
“I don’t see that as a coverup or a violation of any rule,” he said. “If it is, we will definitely correct it. But my understanding is that a place of death is where they died.”
Drawing a parallel to a gunshot victim, Adams said: “A person can be shot on Bedford Ave. but die in a hospital. You count where they died.”
He added, “There’s no reason trying to hide it. You know and I know you can’t hide from the press.”
The city moved to compassionately release Bradley on June 15, but didn’t tell the family, who found out from London.
“If they really wanted to give him a compassionate release, they would have done it on the 11th or 12th,” London said. “They knew he wasn’t coming back. The decision was purely a numbers game.”
Bradley was removed from life support June 18, London said.
So far this year eight city detainees have died in custody, including two this week. If Bradley was included in the tally, he would be the ninth.