A recently retired assistant chief for security at Rikers Island is on trial for ordering his men to brutally beat a prisoner who dared to "lock eyes" with him. The New York Times reports:
After the second inmate slashing of the day, guards on Rikers Island were checking inmates for weapons — an exhaustive process that involves repeated strip searches and the use of screening devices.
Standing outside a search pen, the new assistant chief for security, Eliseo Perez Jr., locked eyes with an inmate.
"This guy thinks he's tough," Chief Perez said, according to prosecutors in the Bronx. And then he ordered his subordinates to kick the inmate's teeth in, the authorities said.
Upon Chief Perez's order, the inmate, Jahmal Lightfoot, was led into the search pen where five members from an elite correction unit were waiting for him, an assistant district attorney, Lawrence Piergrossi, said at the arraignments in State Supreme Court in the Bronx.
"He was tackled, brought to the ground," Mr. Piergrossi said. "He was repeatedly kicked with his body in a fetal position, covering his head."
Mr. Piergrossi held up photos of the inmate's injuries, which included fractured eye sockets and a broken nose.
According to the Village Voice, which has reported extensively on Perez's gang of thugs, this wasn't the only incident in which an inmate was brutally beaten by Perez's men. According to the president of the Correction Officers Benevolent Association, this is "simply a witch hunt into the Department of Correction and members of the Correction Officers Benevolent Association."
Earlier this year, Mother Jones named Rikers one of the 10 worst prisons in the U.S.