In one case, an unnamed inmate sucker punched an officer standing in a hallway. In another incident, a different unnamed inmate charges at an officer and pins him against a wall before punching and choking him, CBS local news reported.
Earlier in the summer, an inmate hurled a garbage can at a guard who needed nine stitches for a gash on his forehead.
In another incident also in November, a Rikers inmate was caught on video pulling a correction officer to the floor and savagely beating his face.
“This stuff is happening all the time now after the ‘culture’ change of defending yourself to being a punching bag for the department of confusion,” a department source said.
The guards are being praised by the DOC for their restraint, as officers are instructed not to fight prisoners.
“After they were violently assaulted, these brave officers followed their training, showed restraint, and successfully de-escalated the situation. We are processing these inmates for re-arrest, and they are being placed in restrictive housing,” said Peter Thorne of the Department of Corrections.
The assaults remain under investigation, according to DOC officials.
“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,” said Elias Husamudeen, president of the Correction Officer’s Union. 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.”
Husamudeen previously criticized Mayor de Blasio’s ban on solitary confinement for inmates under 21, and noted that Rikers Island prisoners oftentimes outnumber guards 100 to one.