A prison violence case led to the indictment of 6 officers, responsible for assaulting Jahmal Lightfoot.
Most of us see prison violence as inmate-on-inmate or inmate-on-guard attacks so some horrible case of correctional officer misconduct would possibly go unnoticed. Unexpectedly, on Friday, Rikers Island’s city correctional officers were slapped with more than 10 years jail sentence for beating an inmate.
Among those involved in the horrendous act were a high-ranking chief and a captain. The incident occurred in 2012 when 31-year-old Jahmal Lightfoot was heavily beaten by the correctional officers on the instruction of the head of the anti-violence unit, Eliseo Perez Jr.
Perez ordered the six officers to beat up Lightfoot to put fear in the other inmates. His action followed a series of incidents of inmate-on-inmate prison violence, which involved stabbing, so he wanted to use Lightfoot’s punishment as an example to serve as a deterrent to others.
As a result of the assault, Lightfoot suffered a broken nose and was left with two fractured eye sockets. According to his testimony, some officers kicked him in the head while the others held his legs and arms.
The matter went further than just one correctional officer misconduct, as later all the participants of the beating acted together to fabricate the evidence against Lightfoot.
According to the court ruling, Eliseo Perez Jr. will serve a six and a half jail sentence whereas Gerald Vaughn, a former captain will spend five and a half years in prison. Some others were also convicted of deliberately carrying out the assault without the camera capturing it. They include Tobias Parker, Jose Parra, and Alfred Rivera; they were sentenced to four and a half years imprisonment, New York Daily News reports.
Two officers, Harmon Frierson and Dwayne Maynard were charged with aiding and abating. They are to spend 500 hours doing community service.
According to a state Corrections spokesman, the convicted officers will be sent to prisons upstate and kept in protective custody.
Finally, the justice the community has waited for so long has been served. Some officers think that once a person is in prison, then he or she is automatically stripped off every right and privilege. Unfortunately, this is to be said mostly about Black inmates, who are used as punching by bags for correctional officers.
This is totally unacceptable and the possibility to have the first-hand knowledge of prison violence should serve as a restraint to others who are fond of such barbaric acts.