Two months after she died in a holding cell at Brooklyn’s Central Bookings, family and friends of Kyam Livingston (pictured below left) rallied in Brooklyn to bring justice to her case Saturday.
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Son Alexander (pictured center), mother Anita Neil (pictured left of Alexander), and sister Ashanta (pictured right) lead a procession through Flatbush, chanting, “We need justice for Kyam Livingston! Killed in a Brooklyn cell!”
Referencing the NYPD’s refusal to release the names of the officers directly involved in her death or surveillance tape of Livingston in the cell , supporters also let it known that “We want the tapes, and we want the names!”
Watch protesters march for Livingston:
After returning to the starting point outside the Church Avenue subway station, people spoke out with an open mic.
“There is no reason why somebody should die in this condition,” said Mathieu Eugene, a councilman who represents parts of Crown Heights and Flatbush. “No one can be denied treatment, regardless of the condition. Life is too precious. This is a human issue. We believe that she should not have died in vain. We have to come together as a society, as a community, as one city, to make sure this won’t happen again to anyone.”
Neil, an executive board member of the Retireees Association Of DC 37, expressed condolences to the Livingston family on behalf of his co-workers. “Our profound sorrow is with you,” Neil said. “But we understand that there’s something wrong with a system that allows a woman to die in a holding cell after pleading for medical attention for hours.
“And what did the police say as she was crying in agony? ‘Shut the f**k up, or we’ll lose your papers!’ Means you’ll stay there longer.”
“Livingston’s mother made an emotional stand for her daughter. “They killed my daughter!” Neil continued through tears. “They didn’t give her the medical help she needed. Her stomach was aching and they didn’t help her at all!”
Neil disputed NYPD claims that Livingston died from a seizure. “They told me that my daughter had a seizure,” she continued. “My daughter didn’t have a seizure, because my daughter [didn’t] suffer from seizures.”
“They will not release [any] kind of information to me, and I’m her mother! I had her! So I’m gonna fight until I get justice for my daughter.”
Livingston was arrested on July 19th in Windsor Terrace after her grandmother called 911, claiming the 37-year-old security guard became violent after drinking a bottle of Vodka. Theresa Johnson had previously taken out an order of protection against her granddaughter (Though Livingston lived with Johnson, the order of protection only applied to arguing with her or drinking in her apartment.)
According to Aleah Holland, who spoke with the Daily News and shared the holding cell with Livingston, cops ignored her complaints of stomach pains and diarrhea. When other cellmates asked the officers for help, they allegedly said Livingston was an alcoholic.
Holland and others eventually saved a spot for Livingston as her condition worsened. “She was convulsing on the bench,” she said. One female staffer reportedly looked at Livingston and said, “Just let it play out.”
A medical services crew was finally called early Sunday morning. By the time they’d arrived, Livingston had been dead for 20 minutes. Neil dismissed NYPD claims that her daughter died at The Brooklyn Hospital . “She died in the cell at 120 Schemerhorn,” Neil added.
There will be another rally October 21st-the three month anniversary of Kyam’s death-in front of Brooklyn Central Bookings.
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See more pictures below:
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