Man dies serving 5-day sentence at Rikers Island

A Bronx man is demanding answers from officials after his brother died before he should have been released from a five-day stay at Rikers Island.



Officials notified family members on Friday that Michael DeShields, 61, had died. He had been arrested last Tuesday on charges of criminal facilitation and possession of a controlled substance.



Records show that DeShields was arrested for helping a man sell heroin and then found carrying crack. He was sentenced to five days in jail.



His younger brother, Eric DeShields, says authorities asked him to come in and identify the body. He also says that when he went in, no one gave him an explanation for the death.



The younger DeShields says that he's awaiting results from the city's medical examiner. He says the medical examiner's office told him his brother's blood pressure was elevated.



"He didn't have his medicine," DeShields says.



A spokesperson for the medical examiner's office told News 12 Monday that the official cause of death had not yet been determined.



A spokesman for the city jail called the death a tragedy and said authorities were investigating.


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