Rayette Turner (153194)

At a press conference held in front of the Mount Vernon Police Department on Thursday Community activist Samuel L. Rivers called on the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and the United States Attorney to be the lead investigative agency probing the death of Raynette Turner who died while in custody of the Mount Vernon Police Department.

“Having the United States Department of Justice as the lead investigative agency is the only way to ensure a full, transparent, and thorough investigation,” said Rivers.

He publicly called on State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to recuse himself from the Turner investigation and turn it over to the (DOJ). Rivers believes the A.G.’s political connections to the City of Mount Vernon will make it impossible for the Turner family to seek justice in the death of Turner.

Osvaldo J. Gonzalez, the Turner family’s attorney, Mike Hannon with Blacks in Law Enforcement, and Carlton Berkley with the National Latino Officers’ Association joined Rivers during at press conference.

After waiting two days for an arraignment on shoplifting charges, Turner, 42, was found dead in a holding cell Monday afternoon. She was taken to the hospital on Sunday after she said she was not feeling well and was later taken back to the jail before she died.