A captain and two officers at Rikers have been indicted for allegedly beating an inmate and trying to cover it up.
Captain Moises Simancas and correction officers April Jackson and Tyrone Wint surrendered to authorities on Wednesday. They face multiple felony charges for the assault and falsifying business records.
“The victims here were not simply the injured inmate but the justice system itself, which cannot properly function when sworn law enforcement officers falsify documents to cover-up crimes,” Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters said in a statement.
Prosecutors said that on Oct. 30, 2012, the officers cuffed an inmate’s hands behind his back and took him to a secluded stairwell. The inmate was allegedly brought to the ground and the defendants kicked, punched and beat him with a baton.
Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson said tensions were high following Superstorm Sandy. Rikers was short-staffed and inmates had been in their cells much longer. The inmate was “verbally abusive” to one of the defendants before the assault, prosecutors said.
An investigation determined that the injuries from the attack — to the inmate’s head, torso and extremities — included contusions that didn’t match batons issued by the Department of Corrections, prosecutors said. Corrections officers typically don’t carry batons while patrolling the general population, officials said.
The Department of Investigation found that each of the defendants, in an effort to cover up the beating, submitted reports that didn’t mention use of a baton and were inconsistent with the inmate’s injuries.
All three defendants were suspend after their arrests Wednesday. Each faces several years in prison.
The arrests are part of a larger Department of Investigation inquiry into brutality, smuggling and corruption at Rikers. More arrests are expected.
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