A former Rikers Island inmate who was brutally beaten by officers at the facility back in 2012, has won a multi-million-dollar settlement.
In 2012, Jahmal Lightfoot was awaiting sentencing for a robbery conviction when a group of correction officers attacked him as a lesson to other inmates following several jail stabbings. The attack left Lightfoot with a broken nose and two fractured eye sockets.
Now, Lightfoot has received a $3.9 million settlement stemming from the incident.
“I want all the officers — correction and police — to know they cannot beat on people and think you can get away with it, it’s not right. . .I could have lost my own life,” Lightfoot said according to the New York Daily News. “I just want people to know there’s going to be consequences for officers doing these things to people, and I hope this has an impact.”
In 2016, the men responsible for the attack — former Chief Eliseo Perez Jr. and former Captain Gerald Vaughn, as well as officers David Rodriguez, Tobias Parker, Jose Parra and Alfred Rivera — were all convicted for assault and fabricating evidence that pinned Lightfoot with a contraband charge. The officers are currently serving upstate prison time.
“This case sends a clear message that correction officers that take matters into their own hands will not be tolerated and will be held accountable both in a criminal courtroom and in a civil courtroom,” Scott Rynecki, one of the attorneys who represented Lightfoot in the civil suit, said.
In March of last year New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a plan to close Rikers in the next 10 years.
The plan called for a replacement of the infamous jail with a series of jails that will be spread throughout the five boroughs. The recommendation will also come up with a plan which will allow a large portion of inmates to return to society under supervised release.
Source: New York Daily News