Rikers Island, so notoriously criminally brutal that the D A opened and office on the property a couple of years ago, still is out of control. They need to put more guards on the other side of the bars! These boneheaded, mean-spirited little bullies in a uniform still do not get the message!
*See what the D A said and READ my article, Culture of Cover Up!
Read also: Why Only Prosecution Will End Prison Abuse
Excerpts from the Article:
A New York City Correction Department captain was arrested on Thursday and charged with beating an inmate at Rikers Island so badly that several of the prisoner’s teeth were broken, and prosecutors say four other guards helped cover up the attack. The captain, Sandy Arkhurst, 42, pleaded not guilty before Justice Robert Neary in State Supreme Court in the Bronx and was later released on $10,000 bail. The four other officers charged — John Penafiel, 29; Christopher Squillaro, 31; Orlando Rivera, 58; and Michael Nicholson, 42 — were also released on $5,000 bail after denying the charges.
A federal monitor overseeing reforms at Rikers Island found in a report this spring that guards continued to use brutal force against inmates at an alarming rate and often lied to cover up those incidents. Those findings came despite efforts to clean up the troubled jail complex after the city reached a sweeping settlement agreement in 2015 in response to a lawsuit. Mayor Bill de Blasio has backed a plan to replace the sprawling complex with smaller jails.
All five guards were members of a special unit that was called to the Eric M. Taylor Center, one of the island’s jails, on June 3, 2016, to deal with an 18-year-old inmate, Rodolfo Rodriguez, who was refusing to go into his cell, prosecutors said.
One of the officers pepper-sprayed Mr. Rodriguez in the face and cuffed his hands behind his back. Then three of the guards took him into a shower vestibule to wash off the spray, prosecutors said. Inside the shower, Captain Arkhurst punched the inmate and struck him with a wood baton, leaving him with broken teeth and bruises on his back and arms.
Joseph Marciano, an assistant district attorney, told the court the assault was only partly recorded by a security camera, but the camera’s microphone captured Mr. Rodriguez pleading with the officers to stop, saying: “No. Chill.”
Later, the officers filed false “use of force” reports claiming, the district attorney’s office said, that Mr. Rodriguez had accidentally banged his head on the wall and had attacked Captain Arkhurst while trying to run out of the room.
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“The culture of cover-up* must end if we are to rid Rikers Island of violence,” District Attorney Darcel D. Clark said in a statement. “Any correction officer who conceals a crime to protect a fellow officer will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
Since taking office nearly two years ago, Ms. Clark has stepped up prosecutions of crime in New York City’s jails, going after both inmates and guards. She established a bureau on Rikers Island to handle crimes by inmates and visitors, and her Public Integrity Bureau, formed in March 2016, has secured convictions of 20 correction officers for various crimes.
According to an indictment, Captain Arkhurst was charged with second- and third-degree assault, among other charges, opening him up to a possible sentence of two to seven years in prison if convicted. The four officers were each charged with official misconduct, falsifying business records and offering a false instrument for filing. If convicted, each faces a maximum sentence of 15 months to four years in prison, depending on the particulars of each officer’s alleged conduct.
Lawyers for Captain Arkhurst and Officer Squillaro could not be reached for comment. Lawyers for Officers Nicholson, Penafiel and Rivera said they had no comment on the allegations but vowed to fight them in court.
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