NEW YORK – New video shows a Rikers Island inmate and a corrections officer in a brawl. The inmate even hurled a trash can at the officer without anyone coming to his aid.
The clip obtained by The New York Post begins with the two standing chest-to-chest in a common area of the Robert N. Davoren Center. Suddenly, the unidentified inmate shoves the officer and fists start flying.
The two flail around the room for 15 seconds before the inmate gets a hold of the officer and takes him to the floor, climbing on top of the jailer to rain down more punches. Quickly, the guard gets to his feet, yet receives more blows as he attempts a control hold on the inmate.
At one point, an uninvolved inmate, apparently taking it all in, can be seen casually crossing the frame.
Soon the violence moves into a hallway, where the inmate shoves the corrections officer out of the frame. Two more inmate-spectators fly in to see what the commotion is about as the first inmate tosses a plastic trashcan at the officer.
It’s unclear whether he hit his mark, because the officer is out of frame, but moments later the trash can comes sliding back into view, leaving a trail of trash as the inmate hurries away, the video shows.
To his credit, the corrections officer never gave up. He continued to defend himself against a violent outburst without receiving aid from partners.
It was not immediately clear when the video was shot, other than the Department of Corrections indicated the incident occurred “weeks ago.”
Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association President Elias Husamudeen decried the violence and said the city needs to hire more guards, reported The Post.
“This video and others like it are another reminder of why the officer to inmate ratio in the NYC DOC needs to change,” he said, questioning the wisdom of Mayor de Blasio’s plan to replace Rikers with smaller borough jails.
“Building four new jails is not going to reduce violence as long as Correction Officers remain outnumbered and without the tools they need to maintain law and order.”
The Department of Corrections says it has hired 5,700 new officers since April 2014 and saw its largest-ever graduating class in November, according to DOC officials.
So what happened to the inmate and corrections officer following the fight?
“This inmate was placed into restrictive housing when this occurred weeks ago, and is no longer in our custody. We are using every tool possible to help officers do their jobs in a secure environment. Thankfully, our officer was not seriously injured,” said agency spokesman Jason Kersten.