The shoe most certainly now sits on the other foot as six former city correction officers on Rikers Island, the notoriously violent New York City jail, were jailed themselves on Friday after being sentenced for the ruthless beating of an inmate there.
The six men convicted included a high-ranking chief and a captain, including Eliseo Perez Jr. who received six and a half years in state prison for the 2012 attack on 31-year-old Jahmal Lightfoot.
Lightfoot was left with two fractured eye sockets and a broken nose in the brutal assault. He testified that officers repeatedly stomped on his head while others held back his arms and legs.
Former Capt. Gerald Vaughn received five and a half years behind bars. David Rodriguez, Tobias Parker, Jose Parra and Alfred Rivera—convicted of carrying out the beating out of view of security cameras—were sentenced to four and a half years, according to the New York Daily News.
After the sentencing, the six officers were taken to their old place of employment, Rikers Island, for processing. The News reports city records listed them all listed at the jail’s infirmary, away from the general inmate population. They will eventually be sent to prisons upstate, where they will be housed in protective custody, a state Corrections spokesman said.
Another two ex-officers charged in the beating, Harmon Frierson and Dwayne Maynard, were sentenced to 500 hours of community service on misdemeanor charges for their roles in covering up the assault.
Perez, the head of an anti-violence unit at Rikers, was charged with ordering officers to kick Lightfoot’s teeth in to send a message to other inmates following a spree of jail stabbings.
Before handing down the sentences, Bronx Judge Steven Barrett said, “There are orders that cannot be followed.”
After Lightfoot came forward, a probe from the Department of Investigation and Bronx District Attorney’s office resulted in the indictments.
The officers then fabricated evidence to claim Lightfoot, an admitted member of the Bloods gang, had a razor on him, prosecutors charged.
Lightfoot and his lawyer say they plan to sue the city.
Source: The Root