City Investigating 129 Cases of Assaults on Rikers Inmates

By Eddie Small on July 22, 2014 2:49pm 

 The city is investigating 129 cases involving assaults on Rikers inmates.
The city is investigating 129 cases involving assaults on Rikers inmates.
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DNAinfo/Theodore Parisienne

RIKERS ISLAND — The city is investigating 129 cases involving assaults on Rikers Island inmates by corrections officers in the past year — part of a broader probe that the Department of Investigation has been conducting at the troubled jail.

The DOI recently sent a letter to the Bronx District Attorney's office that describes a case of corrections officers assaulting an inmate inside his cell on Oct. 30 and attempting to cover it up.

The officers justify going into the cell by claiming that the inmate had tried to kill himself "by fashioning a noose out of his pants and hanging himself from a table located in the rear of his cell."

The letter states that the correction officers entered the inmate's cell despite the lack of an immediate threat, threw him to the floor and kicked and struck him in his face and body.

A captain participated in covering up the incident by making a noose from a pair of inmate pants to use as evidence in Department Of Correction proceedings about the incident, the letter says.

Video surveillance shows that the inmate did not attempt to hang himself and that the captain made and photographed the noose, according to the DOI.

The Bronx District Attorney's office declined to prosecute the case after thoroughly investigating and analyzing all of the evidence, according to spokeswoman Tarry Raskyn.

"The office determined we would not be able to prove criminality beyond a reasonable doubt," she said in an email.

The DOC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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