5 officers will face jail time for pummeling an inmate in the course of a weapon search.
This Tuesday, according to Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark, a jury “has sent a clear message that a uniform and a badge does not absolve anyone from committing a crime, and that even a criminal behind bars deserves to be treated like a human being.”
4 Rikers Island correction officers, Tobias Parker, Jose Parra, Alfred Rivera and David Rodriguez, and prison’s former Assistant Chief of Security Eliseo Perez were tried for brutally beating a black inmate Jahmal Lightfoot, who was serving his time for stealing a handbag.
Beating, which took place during a weapon search on July, 11, 2012, is believed to be initiated by Perez, who resigned soon after the incident. Assistant Chief of Security turned out to be cowardly enough not to hurt his helpless victim himself but to order his subordinates do it. As a result of the brutal abuse Lightfoot suffered broken nose, broken bones around both eyes and other injuries reflected in his $5 000 000 suit to the city.
All the abusers tried to cover up their deed claiming Lightfoot attacked them with a shank thus adding falsification of records to attempted gang assault charges.
4 of 5 officers have been convicted and Perez faces up to 15 years behind bars. Despite this very fair decision, Jahmal Lightfoot wishes noone to share his fate. “I don’t want to see nobody in jail,” he says. “Honestly, jail is not for nobody.”
Mr. Lightfoot is too kind to express sympathy with these monsters, who have no moral standards; it’s about time for them to have firsthand knowledge of how people in prisons may be treated by correction officers.
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