Rikers Island Guards Charged In Death of Detainee


One former and two current guards at Rikers Island have been charged in the December 2012 death of a pre-trial detainee at New York City’s island prison.

The FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office said former Rikers Island correction officer Brian Coll and current officer Byron Taylor were arrested on Wednesday on charges relating to the untimely death of Ronald Spear. Anthony Torres, another officer, had earlier pleaded guilty to charges on Tuesday.

Spear, 52, died on December 19, 2012 when an early-morning attempt to visit the on-duty doctor at Rikers for ongoing kidney trouble turned into an altercation with Officer Coll. Spear’s autopsy report showed that he had likely been kicked repeatedly in the head while lying on the floor. In the wake of Spear’s death, Coll, Torres, and Taylor claimed Spear had attacked Coll with a cane — a claim prosecutors say was false. Coll has been charged with…

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