Statement on Sentencing of DOC Officer Responsible for Killing of Ronald Spear at Rikers Island

Mary Lynne Werlwas, the Director of the Prisoners’ Rights Project at The Legal Aid Society, issued the following statement tonight after the sentencing of former New York City Department of Correction Officer Brian Coll for killing Ronald Spear. Coll was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

The Legal Aid Society and Emery, Celli, Brinckerhoff and Abady previously represented Mr. Spear’s family in a class action lawsuit which was settled with the City for $2.75 million and included the appointment of a monitor:

“Officer Coll embodies the culture of impunity amongst guards at Rikers Island who believe they are not beholden to accountability and consequence. Today’s sentencing helps to change that sentiment and serves much needed justice for an abhorrent and brutal killing.

While nothing will ever fully compensate for the pain and suffering Mr. Spear endured on Rikers Island, we hope this provides some closure and solace for his family and other loved ones who are still reeling from his death.”