New York state officials are looking into no fewer than 129 cases of suspected abuse of inmates at Riker's Island in the wake of a New York Times investigation. And the Times relays a new incident, courtesy of the head of New York City's Department of Investigation, that was caught on video at the prison: It begins with three guards scuffling with an inmate at his cell door, pushing him inside, and beating him for three minutes. Then a captain enters the cell, and theoretically, all three guards should have been in serious trouble. Instead, the supervisor is seen helping them cover up the incident, say investigators.
As the Times explains, guards aren't supposed to enter a cell unless there's an "immediate threat," such as a suicide attempt. In the video, the captain is seen making a noose out of the inmate's pants, dropping them on the floor, and taking photos that eventually got included in the official incident report. "There was a supervisor whose job it was to make sure that we follow the rules who manufactured evidence to help the people she supervises to break the rules,” says the chief of the city's Department of Investigation. The department referred the case to the Bronx DA's office in March, but no prosecution resulted. (Read more Rikers Island stories.)