Rikers Con Job

With jail violence out of control, a bogus task force only made things worse

<p>Rikers Con Job</p>

A shadowy jail "violence reduction" unit linked to a top Corrections Department official is under investigation for falsifying reports, beating inmates, and violating department regulations, the Voice has learned.

The plainclothes unit, known as the "violence-reduction task force" or "special search squad," allegedly operated outside the rules, Correction sources say. The unit was not properly cleared to perform sensitive investigative work, and its members were improperly assigned to the unit and entered jails without following security procedures.

The city Department of Investigation is probing a range of allegations, including filing false reports about the discovery of a weapon at the Manhattan jail known as the Tombs and punitive beatings of inmates in the George R. Vierno Center and the West Facility on Rikers Island. One of those inmates suffered broken facial bones.

Mark Hewko
Deputy Chief of Department Carmine LaBruzzo (center), Captain Gerald Vaughn (right), and Officer Edwin Slowly (left), at the post&ndash;Super Bowl parade in February, were all involved in the &ldquo;violence-reduction task force.&rdquo;
Provided to the Voice by sources inside the Correction Department
Deputy Chief of Department Carmine LaBruzzo (center), Captain Gerald Vaughn (right), and Officer Edwin Slowly (left), at the post–Super Bowl parade in February, were all involved in the “violence-reduction task force.”

The DOC's Assistant Chief of Security, Eliseo Perez, who was involved with the unit, retired after being formally interviewed about his alleged role in a July 11 beating of an inmate in GRVC. (In an odd reversal last week, with the investigation still pending, Perez withdrew his retirement papers.)

Perez's boss, Deputy Chief of Department Carmine LaBruzzo, the man who formed the unit earlier this year, is also facing scrutiny. LaBruzzo is the second ranking uniformed official in the DOC behind Chief of Department Michael Hourihane.

LaBruzzo's top aide, Captain Gerald Vaughn, has been questioned, along with half a dozen other task force members. Several of them have refused to cooperate with the investigation unless they were given immunity from prosecution, sources say.

"[LaBruzzo] basically created his own rogue gang-intelligence unit out of people who never would have been cleared to do investigations,"

a Correction source tells the Voice. "This is at a time when the real gang-intelligence unit has been cut by 35 percent."

Another member of the unit, Deputy Warden Turhan Gumusdere, was linked to allegations of a cover-up of inmate fights and use-of-force incidents last year in the Robert N. Davoren Center, the jail that houses teenagers. That cover-up is part of a separate probe.

Diane Struzzi, a spokeswoman for the Department of Investigation, declined to comment when asked about the investigations.

In response to a Voice inquiry, Correction Department spokeswoman Sharman Stein gave this statement: "The DOC cannot and will not comment on allegations that are in the process of being investigated. Moreover, The Village Voice should not draw conclusions about assertions that are in the process of being investigated and thereby compromise an ongoing investigation."

These investigations come during a difficult period in Commissioner Dora Schriro's tenure. Slashings, fights, attacks on Correction officers, and staff uses of force are all on the rise this year. At least 40 slashings were officially recorded at Rikers in the first six months of this year, a rate double that of last year. There were 84 major assaults on staff by inmates.

A federal investigation into violence and misreporting of fights and other incidents is ongoing, and a major class action lawsuit alleging widespread continued staff violence against inmates was recently filed. In part, that lawsuit alleges that Schriro promoted to senior positions staffers who have long histories of encouraging excessive force against inmates.

Meanwhile, some of the worst slashings recorded this year have taken place in high-security areas, where inmates aren't even supposed to come in contact, much less possess weapons and attack one another. These incidents suggest breakdowns in security.

On July 9, at GRVC, inmate Corey Parron was slashed by another inmate, Donald White, in a high-security unit where inmates are supposed to be moved using mitts to cover their hands and enhanced restraints. White had somehow obtained a titanium scalpel blade, which he used in the attack. (Titanium blades don't show up in magnetometer scans, so the jails have introduced body-imaging machines.)

"His whole face was hanging off," a Correction source says. "This is one of the worst slashings that's happened in a long time."

Meanwhile, a lawsuit filed last week alleges that inmate Dwaine Taylor twice suffered a broken jaw at the hands of Blood gang members in 2011, and those attacks were condoned by staff—a practice that DOC officials claim had been stopped.

The city was recently fined $10,000 by a federal judge for failing to turn over hundreds of gang-intelligence reports to lawyers for Kadeem John, a former inmate severely beaten on Rikers. A videotape that would have shown John's beating wasn't preserved, and the man responsible was released, even though Correction officials had a report that identified him within two days of the assault.

And now, the revelations about the rogue unit raise questions about Schriro's ability, in an agency known for its minefield-laden political landscape, to keep her subordinates in line.

Most of the members of the shadow unit had worked in the George R. Vierno Center with LaBruzzo, a former warden there.

In creating the unit, LaBruzzo bypassed personnel rules, Correction sources say. The jobs were never posted as required. The transfers were never formally approved, and they were improperly working outside of their official assignments.

Members of the unit—some of them facing disciplinary charges or investigations of their own—were not formally cleared to do investigative work. They walked into jails without getting prior approval and didn't, in some cases, even sign security logbooks.

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40 comments
NYB718
NYB718

I was in GRVC in 2011 and assistant whatever Perez was a Deputy Warden at the time. He had me taken off camera while 8 officers jumped me while i was handcuffed arms and legs curled up in a ball. Captains and Deputies were watching the jumping and giving them tips on how to beat me. And one kept telling them to watch the face so i dont get marks or my face. the begged me to fight them back but i refused because i knew the second i touched them they would press charges on me. On officer threw my head first into an empty cell and kicked me in the nuts to finish it off. Fuck you Perez, you can suck my dick. And everyone knows ur working with the gangs and arraigning hits on ur own officers and inmates. \

And do u know how they all get away with it? Here's theyre favorite line.

"im not cooperating with this investigation unless i get immunity from prosecution"

layzslaker
layzslaker

Dirtyharry45cal,

The Department has changed to being soft and political correct..You can thank the liberals , the uneducated public and money for that, and shit rolls down hill .Care, Custody and Control is out the window.But who really cares pass another beer and we salute you Captain John Gibson. Thanks

                                                                                                                Harrison

                                                                                                     Retired Officer,(full bid)

Rebel
Rebel

Stop crying about who's "hooked up". I was on the Island recently and couldn't believe the look on the Officer's faces, and the stories about how things are these days. Morale is at an all time low, and it seems  the reason is the lack of experience and support from the Captains, their front line supervisors. These new Captains need to back their Officers, stop being so damn petty and deal with the real problem, the inmates!  I was a Captain for 13 1/2 years, and I made damn sure that my Officers knew I had their back, and that the inmates knew not to disrespect staff when I was on duty. I was never petty, but I did expect everyone to do their job. I've been retired over 9 years now, and it made me feel good at the reception I got when I walked into my old jail, to hear I am missed, and that they don't have Captain's like me anymore. We were like a family then, and now it's time for you new Captain's to get your head out of your asses and bring the morale back up to an exceptable level. As for you lame Officer's, grow some balls and deal with the inmates, never let them disrespect you, let them know who's running the jail. If you're too scared, get another job, this ones not for you!  As for the negative comments about Bobby Cripps, whoever wrote them is a jerkoff! I've known Cripps for years, he's a good man, a good supervisor, and my friend. You, on the other hand, must be one of the suck Officers or Captains I spoke about earlier.

John Gibson,

Captain, retired 

ChangeIsNeeded
ChangeIsNeeded

It sadens me to say but much of the Department has fallen to the waste side. This is unfortunately not the first regime of Chiefs to be accused of this type of misappropriation of authority. The middle management is afraid of being ostracized if they refuse to go along with the scandalous actions and decisions of the higher ranks. The first line supervisors serve as the 'whipping boys' of the Department (many of them being abusively overworked), and as the saying goes: "**it rolls downhill". Therefore, the Officers are left to being subjected to harsh and hostile work environments- not to mention the recently unsafe work environments as well. What actions are the unions of the various ranks within Department doing to attempt to remedy some of these issues? Where has the integrity gone? Is there any loyalty left in the Department? Does hard work and morals count for anything anymore? The morale within the Department has severely deteriorated over the years.

Cali
Cali

I agree with ChangeIsNeeded, they have given too many within the Department all the way up to the Commissioner a job a title that does not support who they are or what they are capable of!

Many in and out of the Department have lost Respect n Honor from those beneath them.  They do not have education, training  and or the qualification to be in the position given to them.

 

The State/Government  needs to hire an independent disinterested third party when reviewing ones desire to take a position that is open.  They need to go through a rigorous interview process to make sure that they are entitled to go up the ladder.  Not only do they have the proper training and merits and credentials, but most importantly that their peers will respect and applaud the choice that was made.

ChangeIsNeeded
ChangeIsNeeded

The Department needs to STOP putting all the WRONG member of service into the Specialized Units. When the 'powers that be' start to emphasize proper qualifications over 'hooking up' their useless lazy friends, then maybe you will see a more professional agency.

LCompere2RDFund
LCompere2RDFund

This story is going cause a ruckus in the New York legal community. Already there are pending lawsuits against the city for the prisoners treatment. Just because a person is in prison doesn't mean they are subject to the same laws as they would if they weren't inside. A person in prison still has rights and does not have to suffer indignation and abuse just because they made a mistake.

http://www.legalfunding.com/

fixmyhouse
fixmyhouse

RETIRED AMKC 1

 

RETIRED AMKC 1 states that the Village Voice article " conveniently fails to mention Warden Cripps and his corrupt past in any capacity".  Warden Cripps is not mentioned in the article, that much is true.

 

What has Warden Cripps done in his career that was corrupt? Please tell us RETIRED  AMKC1.

 

Guess what RETIRED AMKC 1?  i" ve got news for you, Bob Cripps is not corrupt. It is just that simple.

 

But since we're on the topic of corruption, I recall  that RETIRED AMKC 1, while he was a probationary Assistant Deputy Warden, assiigned to the Special Operations Division and off duty in the early morning hours, crashed and demolished  a DOC agency vehicle ( 1997 BLACK CHEVROLET LUMINA 4-DOOR SEDAN )   under "questionable circumstances".

 

I know the cops that were on the scene of that accident, I am just going to leave it at that.

 

The Irish Chief of Department let the whole thing die and RETIRED AMKC 1 got a big pass.

 

I challenge anyone on this site to give us an example of any  incident that suggests Bob Cripps is involved in corruption.

 

Just be honest and keep it real.

 

Cali
Cali

Maybe it is time that the men Men & Women in Uniform and high ranked officials go back to the drawing board! To take a step back and remember the Honor of Oath that they took when they once took pride in becoming a Police Officer:  A Public Servant

Honor means that one's word is given as a guarantee.

Betray is defined as breaking faith with the public trust.

Badge is the symbol of your office.

Integrity is being the same person in both private and public life.

Character means the qualities that distinguish an individual.

Public trust is a charge of duty imposed in faith toward those you serve.

Courage is having the strength to withstand unethical pressure, fear or danger.

Accountability means that you are answerable and responsible to your oath of office.

Community is the jurisdiction and citizens served.

 

It is with great disappointment and discuss, that we have to bring in a task force to correct a system that is broken, not only was the TASK FORCE inadequate and given power that they abused.

It saddens me to learn that Officers that are given title's such as Captain, Deputy Wardens, Asst. Chief of Security all the way up to the rank of Commissioner Have all but Destroyed a Department that was once looked upon by Citizens with utmost respect. 

 

How does one go home at night and look into a child's eyes who once dreamed about becoming a Police Officer, Captain and on its way up only to have read how their Father Aunt Uncle Cousin next door neighbor was no better then the individual who was a guilty of crime and  prosecuted.  That once a Department that had  Pride itself and showed to young individuals what it meant to Honor and not Betray your strength by the Badge you wear. That the INTEGRITY what was once shown as great Strength in an individual Character, that Accountability started at a young age and Community Service was not a given but as act of Kindness.

 

It is Unfortunate that we have led a Blind Eye so to speak too a society of individual that have abused the constitution, community and agency they serve.  What will it take I ask?

Several more inmates and innocent officers too be slashed, beaten and yes Death...

Since a certain Commissioner has taken Office this has almost doubled and were did the respect go? Why is the Investigation being taken so lightly?  Is that a Society of Good Ole Boy's can do no Wrong.  I suggest that it is time for individuals with Honor, Morals and Integrity come and start the grueling task of overhauling a corrupt Society/Department and give back to the Citizens of New York a Department that will shine once again!

 

 

 

 

nonono
nonono

Whether or not Cripps is behind the curtains, it's still the truth...and they, pictured, need to go.  They are a tenacious cancer in the fabric of DOC.  Dora! Time to wake up!

outlander
outlander

thats why most of the highly trained officers retired recently, the goons were allowed to takeover, the highly trained overs who worked soo hard to reduce the violence were targeted by the supervisors in charge, because they wouldn't play ball! keep investigating you will find the truth. start with the picture

GustaReza
GustaReza

At least iin NY things like this are investigated as opposed to the murder caught on video of Army veteran Marty Atencio by armed Joe Arpaio goons in his 4th St. gulag. Check the coverage by the Phoenix New Times and watch the videos of Arpaio's goon murdering an obviously mentally ill and non-combative man, leaving him for dead in a 'safe cell' naked and face down. And then watch the guards/goons laughing and high fiving each other as they do a happy dance.

And NO ONE at the county or state level attorney general or district attorney lifts a fucking finger to bring these murderers to justice. Only in Arizona. In contrast, NY's got nothing on the corruption that is sanctioned in Arizona.

Bronx
Bronx

Three star chief putting his faith in those GRVC clowns...they will all go down because someone on the TEAM is certainly not going to "hold that". Maybe Carmine can hang with Tony...share some  bear claws and switch PINS. He should go to NYCERS ASAP

Bronx
Bronx

The crooks watching the crooks...sad

hol0
hol0

rember these goons run our nuclear places,submarines globally,,and missile shields,,,,dump bombs in cities,let out viruss,and have arranged mass martial law early 5 in morning.....death camps,i used tothink it was crudd its real...

hol0
hol0

DON'T drink the water its fullof flouride,as used in nazi camps to dose there victims,what else are they hiding in water? fizzy drinks,,ect,,foods,,,,,nano,sub nano chems,ect,,,,sounds nutz,but they are up to things.....

hol0
hol0

more news on global corruption !  fort says evil cults and evil orders have ruled earth from day zero to today,book of the damned...order in court ! they warned others off land too ! so they got the prize of soverignty,laid claim to it...,parliaments ect,,,

hol0
hol0

G.M FOOD IS BANNED...,well will be ! craig stapleton ambassador to france threatened france to alter its enviornment review so g.m food would not get banned globally !

hol0
hol0

WHEN JEWS RUN THE WORLD- MANY RUN THIS,JOSEPH RAN SAMARIA,10 non jew tribes,,,,,,judeah ran jerusalem,2 jew tribes both evil tribe dan and other !

egunlady
egunlady

I agree with Clreyes. The Special Search Team are supervised by Captains who have no jail experience, except sucking up to bosses, and one who had been fired for inappropriate associations with visitors and subbordinate staff and reinstated. They are making overtime $ hand over fist and making false arrests of visitors, abusing inmates and lying/spying on fellow supervisors in order to make themselves look good. The DOC is as corrupt and immoral as the inmates that it detains and changing the Commissioner is not the solution. The answer is to stop promoting these power hungry, ego centric, people, who would never make it on a job in the real world. These cowards are losers who were probably bullys in school, and dumber than a bag of nails. They treat the Department as their own private bordello and will sell their own mothers in order to climb up the ranks. The Department needs restructuring. The Commissioner is just dealing with the scum that was there when she got there and will still be there after she leaves. ALL PROMOTIONS SHOULD BE BASED ON TEST SCORES FOR ALL RANKS INCLUDING DEPUTY WARDEN AND WARDEN. The exams should be fair and practical, not having candidates wasting energy memorizing directives and operations orders.  And the team that creates the exams should at least be able to speak English fluently.  All investigations should be done by uniformed staff who are trained investigators, not by overworked, exhausted  Captains who are given a 6 hour class during a 4 week promotional training course.

BTW, there are at least 6 ADWs currently assigned to SOD who could be better utilized within the jails, including, Stanley"dry drunk" Chin and Dario "dumb chuck" Emans.

 

y.vega29
y.vega29

In 2008 at RNDC when 18-year-old Christopher Robinson was murdered as part of "The Program," the Warden was reassigned and is now in the Support Services Division relaxing since then. Is he operating outside the rules with his team of two unathorized Assistant Deputy Wardens? What do they do? The jails are short of ADWs and are incurring overtime. Where does his daughter work and how did she get their? Who is the Warden in the West facility where Hida operates and why is he not under scrutiny for not taking action for the unauthorized activity under his watch? and how about Mr.Gerald Vaughn who makes a great salary over $143,783 with over $45,000 in overtime in 2011 alone which was one of his worst years of his last three. Dont believe that the Chief of Department is in the Dark. He is not. By the way take a look at who is on blast and who is not. What do they have in common. An internal uniform Coup d'état?       

nanaslove19
nanaslove19

WERE IS MY RAISE I WORK HARD TO AND PUT UP WITH A LOT OF NONSENSE TWENTY SOMETHING YEARS NO GATE ONE. HORRIBLE MEALS INTHE STAFF DINNING HALL  SOME        ROUTE BUS DRIVERS ARE DISRESPECTFUL TO STAFF . I NOTICE THE LESS YOU DO IN THE DEPARTMENT THE BETTER OFF YOU ARE AND THE LEAST AMOUNT OF TIME ON THE JOB THE MORE THEY SHOWER YOU WITH EVERY THING FROM EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH TO GATE ONE'S AND THESE OFFICERS MOST OF THEM NEVER EVER WORKED AROUND INMATES PLEASE GIVE ME MY JUST DO AND STOP THE BULL CRAP THANK YOU FOR UNDERSTANDING  HOW I FEEL MR,S DORA THE EXPLORER 

Bwhiteb
Bwhiteb

How many more reports do we need to figure out that Dora Schriro has no business being the commissioner?  She has little grasp of gang violence and seems out of touch.  It's time for the good Dr. to retire or find a place in higher education.

clreyes55
clreyes55

Corruption never stops in NYCDOC especially when you keep promoting the person/people who create the corruption. Retired Captain Carmen Reyes "Shop1"

DONSERRA
DONSERRA

Hey Bloomturd,

 

 

HORN WAS A FAILURE AND WAS REWARDED A JOHN JAY JOB

 

HOW ABOUT YOU GIVE DORA THE SAME DEAL

 

FIRE DORA NOW

 

NYB718
NYB718

@Rebel and u were the same one who was down with all those beatings. and u sound like a hot head too. I used to have respect for officers. But when I went to jail innocent and saw how you guys dont respect the rules. I was like these are perfect examples to a bunch of criminals.

NYB718
NYB718

@ChangeIsNeeded Inmates see it too. Specialized units are a whole bunch of friends who dont mind doing things illegal as long as its for the sake of custody and control. But as a good man who wound up in jail and never went back. Im telling you the second you do something illegal no matter how good ur intention, ur just as bad as the criminals.

Bklyn11290
Bklyn11290

 @ChangeIsNeeded It's true that this Department hooks up people and has a bunch of inexperienced staff in key spots. I was a member of service and left a couple if years ago. I remember a Captain that worked in 76 and then GIU. One of the best bosses I ever worked for...class and professional all the time. Fair with the crooks but he was no joke when it was time to get busy. Great dude in GIU. I think he left a few months ago...

cm2010
cm2010

 @Cali

 My name is C. Monclova, and I have been a Correction Officer since June of 2001. Before I came on this job I was a soldier in Desert Storm, and I learned fast that I was only as good as the soldier who was fighting next to me. Having been in this department for 11 years I can honestly say for those who choose to look out for themselves could ultimately leave us with nothing, and for those who choose to look out for each other could give us almost everything. Thank you Cali whoever you are. I hope your comment is heavily read by all who wear our uniform, and use it to follow the right path we all need to be heading. 

captbss
captbss

 @egunlady  No these people passed a test to get promoted skippy. A test you chose not to take because you were afraid to do more work with more responsibility. You are also someone who does not want to make decions and are probably most happy criticizing.

bkhog
bkhog

 @clreyes55 Yea: You should know best. You was the tip of the spear . Lisandra .. How you got away from the Rat Pack,Even from DOI. is beyond me....I hope they do look and deep...shop 3

cm2010
cm2010

 @Bklyn11290  @ChangeIsNeeded

 Change will never come as long the vast majority of us stand idly by, do nothing, and believe the term "I'm trying to lay low" is the only way to do this job.

Cali
Cali

 @cm2010 

 

Mr. Monclova, first off I would like to take a step back and say Thank you for

Serving our Country and fellow citizens.  They do not understand what sacrifices you have made along the way to insure there freedom.  Which many take for granted. Secondly I would like to Thank you for apparently being one of the individuals that remember the Oath that they had taken when representing the position in state and government.  Not many in  your department can hold there Head up High with integrity n dignity at the end of each day. Too many have lost there way and use there power and become the bullies and criminals within the Department. 

 

They have become misguided and abusive to the system that was placed before us to serve and rehabilitate the souls of those less fortunate that took a wrong turn down a dark road.  Once upon a time they looked up to the Men an Women in Uniform.  Now it has become apparent that many within the Department and State of New York are no better then the criminals themselves. But actually are more corrupt and should be ashamed of themselves since many are not only talking behind there backs, but the public is making a stance. 

 

How can one go home and look at there Spouses, grand parents, parents, children n down the line and knowingly know that they took their Family Honor and ran a muck with it, that they basically not only embarrassed, disappointed but incriminated themselves and individual within the Department that did no wrong.

 

Maybe if Community and Public take a stance and say enough is enough their voices will be heard. 

 

cm2010
cm2010

 @captbss

 Excellent analogy, I worked under her in Central Visits, and aside from being the worse Captain I ever observed, she was also a habitual fabricator. her cluelessness to supervise, and constant lies, were so dangerous to everyone she encountered, I personally had no choice but to file a federal lawsuit against her. If you want to know more, read my complaint, it is: Monclova v. Bell, Dkt # 12 Civ. 3187 

NYB718
NYB718

@cm2010 @captbss Good for you. Im glad you stood up to her. We need more people like you in the department.

StanChin
StanChin

 @captbss

 Thanks for your words of advise.  I will retire someday, but not today.

captbss
captbss

 @StanChin Dep the best thing in the world of Corrections is to be retired from it. This crap just fades away with each passing day. Don't be afraid to retire because that is what we all took the job and it's BS for. The day you leave it is literally like a giant weight has been removed off your chest.Make the city pay you for many years, thats what I say.

StanChin
StanChin

 @captbss

 I was directing my response to the originator of the nasty comments (egunlady).  Dario Emans and I would like to thank you (capbss) for your support.

captbss
captbss

 @StanChin I don't know if you are directing this at me or the originator of the comment. I have met you and dealt with you and I have found you to be a nice guy who did not hurt people. As for Dario Emans I know him and he is a stand up guy also. I don't agree at  all with the comments regarding both of you because they are dead wrong.

StanChin
StanChin

 @captbss

 I am Stanley Chin and would like to respond to the derogatory names that egunlady has called Dario Emans and myself.  Egunlady aka Patricia Bell, is a recently retired Correction Captain.  She is attempting to slander our names because we filed disciplinary charges on her for violations against the Department.  In her name calling, she calls ADW Emans a "dumb chuck" and me a "dry drunk".  I do not even know what that is.  The audacity of egunlady to comment on Captains of the Special Search Team having no jail experience when it is my understanding that egunlady spent 19 of her 22 years of service in SOD (both as an officer and as a captain).  If she had real trash to put out on me, I am sure she would have put it out there already.  If all she could do is name calling like an immature baby, then I can only take that as a compliment.  BTW for her information, Dario Emans spent 17 out of his 23 years of service in jail, and I spent over 18 years of my 26 years of service in the jails.  Thank you and I am not a drunk.

 
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