NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A Rikers Island correction officer was slashed across the face on Friday night, prompting calls for change.
Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, COBA, tweeted Saturday morning, saying, “CO AT RIKERS VICIOUSLY SLASHED ACROSS HIS FACE BY BLOODS GANG MEMBER LAST NIGHT.”
A short time later, New York City Councilman Joe Borelli, of Staten Island, posted, “After yet ANOTHER slashing of an Officer @ Rikers, I want 2 know why NYCDOC turned a blind eye 2 @NYCCOBA1’s rational concern 4 the safety of its members & the failure of the department to follow its own policy. The inmates are running the asuylum it seems.”
CBS2 obtained a copy of a letter that COBA sent to the New York City Department of Corrections on June 20, raising concerns that “lock-in procedures” were not being followed at the Anna M. Kross Center on Rikers Island.
“In AMKC every night during the institutional lock-in, all dorms and modular housing areas are not in compliance with lock-in procedures. Each night there are approximately 1,200 inmates not in compliance with the institutional lock-in procedures,” the letter read in part.
“The inmates are refusing to obey the lock-in procedures,” it continued.
“The house never locks in for the night and the officer will not turn the lights off for fear of being assaulted. Female officers are being sexually assaulted and groped by these inmates. We can’t continue this dangerous cycle where offices have to walk into a danger zone every night,” the letter said.
COBA said it previously sent letters raising these concerns on June 8 and 15.
“We have taken immediate action and this inmate has been re-arrested for this attack on our officer who was trying to keep this inmate safe after a fight with other inmates,” the DOC said in a statement.
In March, another correction officer suffered and broken nose and first- and third-degree burns when an inmate punched and threw hot water on him. A month before, another officer was sucker punched by an inmate, fracturing his spine.