Bill DeBlasio, Jahmal Lightfoot, News, Rikers, Rikers Island, Scott Rynecki, Settlement -

Ex-Rikers inmate, Jahmal Lightfoot, awarded almost $4 million in vicious beating by guards

Bill DeBlasio, Jahmal Lightfoot, News, Rikers, Rikers Island, Scott Rynecki, Settlement -

Ex-Rikers inmate, Jahmal Lightfoot, awarded almost $4 million in vicious beating by guards

A former inmate at New York City’s notorious Rikers Island Correctional Center has won a multi-million dollar settlement after enduring a vicious beating by a corrections chief, a captain and other corrections officers, the New York Daily News is reporting.

It may have been six years ago, but the attack on Jahmal Lightfoot, 33, left him traumatized. He received two fractured eye sockets, a broken nose and lingering pain since he was found on the floor at the facility known for violence, vermin and mismanagement.

Lightfoot told the News that he quietly settled a civil lawsuit with the city last month for $3.9 million.

“When I see any police officer or a person in uniform on the street, I get nervous,” Lightfood told the news organization. “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.”

He added, 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.”

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After a three-month trial in 2016, former Capt. Gerald Vaughn and Officers David Rodriguez, Tobias Parker, Jose Parra and Alfred Rivera were convicted for the assault and for fabricating evidence that falsely connected Lightfood to a contraband charge.

All are now serving prison time in upstate New York.

Attack took place in 2012

Back in 2012, Lightfoot was imprisoned on Rikers while awaiting a sentencing for a robbery conviction when Eleseo Perez Jr., former assistant head of security, ordered the attack on Lightfoot as a lesson to other inmates, the News reported. At the time, the facility had experienced a number of stabbings.

“Settling this case was in the best interest of the city,” Nick Paolucci, a spokesman with the city’s Department of Law, told the News.

One of Lightfoot’s lawyers said the hope is that the case helps turn things around in the criminal justice system.

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“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,” attorney Scott Rynecki told the News.

Rikers is isolated on a remote island near LaGuardia International Airport and has long been tied to incidents involving violence, sexual abuse and poor conditions that include rats and food that has made inmates ill.

Last year, New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio announced a plan to close the jail complex over the course of a decade and turn to rehabilitation through smaller facilities spread throughout the city.

The post Ex-Rikers inmate, Jahmal Lightfoot, awarded almost $4 million in vicious beating by guards appeared first on theGrio.


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