Following the altercations, no officers were ever formally charged.
“There’s lots of brutality,” Daniel Selling, former Rikers director of mental health services, said. “Horrible brutality.”
The treatment of mentally ill inmates at Rikers, who make up 40 percent of the population at the notoriously violent jail, has been under intense scrutiny in recent months after the Associated Press reported on the deaths of two inmates, one of whom "baked to death" in a 101-degree cell.
Following the reports, Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed to lead reforms and appointed Joseph Ponte as the city's new correction commissioner.
In the Times' report published Monday, Ponte admitted Rikers was "deeply troubled" when he took over the post. But he ultimately stopped short of fully acknowledging the widespread use of force against inmates.
“We really don’t have a culture of violence,” Ponte said. “We have problems and we’re working to address those.”
source: huffingtonpost.com By Inae Oh