NEW YORK — Correction officers on Rikers Island were attacked by inmates in separate attacks caught on video over the last two weeks.
The first string of attacks happened two weeks ago, according to the Corrections Officers' Benevolent Association (COBA). A video shows a violent altercation between an officer and an inmate erupt in a crowded hallway. The inmate is seen punching the officer and pinning him against a wall as other inmates watched and in some cases made attempts to stop the fight.
The altercation continues down the hallway and the video cuts off with the officer and inmate walking away from each other.
The second attack occurred on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, at about 11:51 p.m. The video shows an inmate approaching an officer who was standing in a hallway. The inmate then punches the officer in the face and chases him down the hallway as the officer runs the opposite way. The video then cuts off as the inmate follows the officer in the same direction.
COBA President Elias Husamudeen released the following statement:
“These videos show exactly what happens when inmates have no fear of consequences for assaulting correction officers, because the City of New York’s criminal justice reforms have permitted a culture of violence against correction officers. To make matters worse, state legislators are now seeking to eliminate punitive segregation beyond 15 days for inmates such as these who attack my members with impunity. Every legislator in Albany should watch these videos closely and ask themselves if they want to have the blood of correction officers on their hands as well.”
"After they were violently assaulted, these brave officers followed their training, showed restraint, and successfully de-escalated the situation," Peter Thorne of the Department of Corrections said. "We are processing these inmates for re-arrest, and they are being placed in restrictive housing."
The incidents remain under investigation, according to DOC officials.