Rikers Island accidentally releases second prisoner in two weeks
NEW YORK - A violent offender was mistakenly released from jail on Rikers Island.
On Monday, Nikim Meekins was set free. Meekins has two open cases in the Bronx, one for attempted murder and robbery and another on gun charges. He was later returned to Bronx criminal court by his lawyer, a public defender, and taken back into custody.
The release had taken place when Meekins appeared in court for a hearing. His bail was set at $100,000 cash for the attempted murder charge, and $1 for the gun case.
"This is an attack on public safety, us as the eight and a half million citizens that reside in the city of New York. We deserve better," Former NYPD Lt. Darren Porcher told FOX 5 NY.
In a statement to FOX 5 NY, the Bronx District Attorney’s Office said: "We did not request any change in bail on the attempted murder/robbery case and defense counsel agreed to an adjournment until Monday 3/22. We learned later that within the court documents both cases had been marked for release on recognizance. DOC consequently released the defendant."
The Department of Corrections said, "based on the documentation provided by the courts, the release from custody was proper and in accordance with our policy."
Meekins was promptly released from Rikers, and a judge immediately issued a bench warrant so he could be re-arrested.
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"It puts us in harms' way of a predicate felon that has a propensity to cause grave harm on us as citizens," Porcher said. "We don't have a case of mistaken identity, we have a case of erroneous information input into the computer system."
This is not the first time a clerical error has caused the release of an inmate, that should not have left Rikers.
Last week, 26-year-old Christopher Buggs was released in a murder case in which he's awaiting trial.
Four correction officers have since been suspended, including the Asst. Deputy Warden.
The Bronx DA told FOX 5 NY that the latest clerical error will be investigated and handled internally.