Statement From Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association President Elias Husamudeen

The below statement is attributable to Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association President Elias Husamudeen:

“Whenever there is a national threat to police officers, anywhere in this country, the NY Police Department immediately responds by marshaling every resource available to secure the safety and protection of its officers by doubling up patrols, putting commands on high alert, and ensuring policymakers have their backs at all times.

We have an unprecedented security crisis facing New York City Correction Officers on Rikers Island, the threats on their lives have never been greater and when we need protection. Now is the time when we need our Department to do everything possible to secure our safety. However, it seems there is no one but our fellow officers who we can count on to have our backs.

The lack of support and protection has led to Correction Officers being compromised and feeling unsafe. Correction Officers are being given conflicting orders and instructions. Some managers are encouraging Correction Officers not to use force even if assaulted.

The department in bowing down to special interest groups like the Board of Correction and have created an environment where Correction Officers are afraid for their safety. Police commissioner Bill Bratton wrote, “A neighborhood where minor offenses go unchallenged soon becomes a breeding ground for more serious criminal activity and, ultimately, for violence.”

That same exact principle can be applied to our city jails.

As recently as this week on Rikers Island – home to some of society’s most dangerous criminals – we saw violence erupt. A Correction Officer was talking to inmate Lugo, Jimmy #8251600031 who was inside his cell when without provocation Lugo reached his arm through the cuffing slot and cut the left side of the officer’s face. The Officer was transported to Mt. Sinai Hospital where his wound was closed with 5 sutures and derma bond. Inmate Lugo was rearrested and given a bail set at $500,000/$500,000. This is great. But it doesn’t solve the problem. Inmate Lugo was sent back to Rikers Island where he can continue his assaultive behavior just as other inmates like John Doe, Malik Ellis and countless others.

We are calling on the same policymakers who vigorously protect our cops to use that same urgency in protecting our Correction Officers. We demand that inmates who have been assaultive and have been re-arrested to be immediately removed from whatever facility on Rikers that they are in and sent to a different jail system where punitive segregation exists. How many more Correction Officers must be slashed in the face, have their bones broken, or eye sockets punched, and be pummeled to the ground before this city wakes up? Our nation has heard the cries of the families of fallen police officers, it’s time New York hears our cries too. Enough is enough.”

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