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Rikers Island correction officer attacked on cam

Posted at 1:57 PM, Feb 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-12 13:57:15-05

NEW YORK, NY (SPECTRUM NEWS NY1/CNN) - Surveillance video shows inmates at a Rikers Island jail facility assaulting a correction officer.

Six inmates, all alleged gang members under the age of 21, beat the unconscious correction officer while he was on the ground.

The attack happened Saturday night inside the George Motchan detention center on Rikers Island, the union for correction officers said.

The first blow was thrown by inmate Steven Espinal who had a beef with the officer.

That officer was identified by department sources as, 39-year-old Jean Souffrant, who suffered a fractured spine from the beating.  

Souffrant had been on the force less than two years, a sign, according to the union, that prison work is getting more dangerous.

“We are the police of the jails and we are under attack,” union President Elias Husamudeen said.  

The union said the inmate was upset because the officer had given him a ticket. They believe that he conspired with the other inmates and planned the attack.

“He was on the phone right prior to when he did it,” said Husamudeen. “Saying that he was going to knock out this super cop.”

Union officials are now slamming Mayor Bill de Blasio for enacting policies they said have made officers susceptible to such attacks.

Specifically, the ending of punitive segregation similar to solitary confinement for inmates age 21 and younger. They raised the same issue at a rally in front of city hall earlier this year.

“It gives us the right to segregate-separate these particular type of inmates from the other inmates,” said Husamudeen.

The mayor's office said de Blasio has invested $200 billion in officer safety. They point to the closing of Rikers, in favor of borough-based jails, as one way to make jails safer. 

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