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Rikers island jail lockdown after inmates attack corrections officers

September 15, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Rikers island jail lockdown after inmates attack corrections officers

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Only days after New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio praised an “astonishing” turnaround at several units in Rikers Island, two prisoners committed simultaneous attacks against correctional officers in an attempt to get transported out of one of the specialized units, according to sources.

At about the same time as the chaos against corrections officers ensued, an inmate in a different building was almost killed after he was stabbed in the neck.

The disturbing violence began just before 6:30 p.m. on Friday when an inmate, 20-year-old Tyquan Lesane, attacked Correction Officer Ernesto Brands, repeatedly beating him in the face, the New York Daily News reported.

Ironically, at just about the same time, another inmate, 18-year-old Ibrahim Doombouya, who is a purported member of the Bloods gang, assaulted corrections officer Timothy Edmund, 26, throwing an unknown liquid at his face. Edmund’s then retaliated using pepper spray, “which achieved the desired effect,” court documents indicate.

According to a source, the two inmates conspired with each other across a barrier just minutes before the attacks occurred.

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The guard assaults and the ghastly slashing of an inmate came only eight days after Mayor de Blasio visited the jail and touted reforms.

Pictures of Edmund’s face surfaced which shows blood trickling from his left cheek. He required three stitches to close the wound and Brands was left with a severely swollen eye.

Corrections officials were trying to determine the motive behind the inmates’ violent attack. A source told the Daily News that the inmates did not like the new units that were a part of Correction Commissioner Joseph Ponte’s method to get Rikers under control.

“From what I know they don’t like the secure unit, and they want to get out,” a source stated.

The source added, “It’s not a general population area … (where) you have more gang members with you. The commissary is different. I believe the phone is different.”

Later that night, 30-year-old James Hatcher and 32-year-old and Shawn Young, both of whom are inmates, got into a dispute in a holding cell.

Hatcher sustained a grim slice in his neck from a half-inch razor that was used as a weapon. He had to be rushed to nearby Bellevue Hospital where he endured emergency surgery.

Interestingly, the violence has not been confined to the jails on Rikers Island.

On Monday, the city’s jail oversight committee condemned the department for infringing on its so-called “Minimum Standards” rules by placing an entire Brooklyn Detention Complex on lockdown.

Rikers Island officials placed the jail on lockdown after five stabbings occurred in less than two weeks. During the lockdown, inmates are not permitted to have any kinds of medical visits, telephone calls, recreational activities, and religious assemblies.

Correction Officer Ernesto Brands suffered a swollen eye in one of the two Friday assaults

Correction Officer Ernesto Brands suffered a swollen eye in one of the two Friday assaults

Despite the fact that Mayor De Blasio appears to be proud of the progress that has been made in NYC’s jails, the number of stabbings and slashings have increased by 21%, from 108 in 2015 to 131 in 2016, records reveal.

Critics are claiming that the violence is far worse, but many of the incidents are being minimized or are not being reported at all.

The Department of Corrections has firmly denied the allegations of number-fudging.

Despite Friday’s events, Ponte believes that his changes are starting to work, he stated: “While no assault on an officer or other staff is ever acceptable, our reforms are working to reduce jail violence.” He further noted that assaults on staff resulting in serious injury have dropped 40% in the first eight months of this year compared to last.

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