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Mayor: Death of NYC inmate in hot cell 'troubling'

March 20, 2014
Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is calling the death of a mentally ill veteran in an overheated jail cell "troubling."

Speaking at a bill signing Thursday, De Blasio told reporters he was struck by the Associated Press story on Jerome Murdough's (muhr-DOH') death.

The AP reported Wednesday that the 56-year-old homeless man was found dead last month in a cell that was at least 100 degrees in a unit for inmates with mental illnesses at Rikers Island.

Four officials who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity say Murdough apparently didn't open a vent to let in cool air and was on anti-psychotic medication that may have made him more sensitive to heat.

The Department of Correction is investigating the death and has acknowledged the temperature in Murdough's cell was "unusually high."



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