Five correction officers were indicted yesterday for covering up inmate assaults–a problem that was highlighted in a recent Village Voice article.
A former correction captain and four correction officers were charged in connection with three separate investigations, according to the city Department of Investigation and Bronx District Attorney.
A Voice article noted that the jail system has had a problem with failing to report violent incidents, downgrading incidents and covering up incidents that take place. A federal investigation is currently underway looking into violence at Rikers, and the issue of whether reports are being manipulated to make the system seem safer than it is.
Indeed, the indictments involved three separate jails, which suggests the problem is much worse than correction officials will admit.
The former captain, Daniel DiPierri, was charged with misconduct for hitting an inmate in the George R. Vierno Center and falsifying a use of force report which claimed the inmate had attacked him on Jan. 7, 2012, officials said. Key in the case is a video which shows the inmate backing away from the officer.
Meanwhile, on May 2, 2012, correction officers Kevin Gilkes and Louis Pinto were arrested on similar charges for an incident on Dec. 3 of last year at the Otis Bantum Correction Center. They claimed an inmate threatened them and they responded by defending themselves. Again, a video proved them wrong.
In March, correction officers Roy Rodney and Winston Gillon were charged with falsifying a report and assault for beating a third inmate after lying when they claimed he spit on them in the Robert N. Davoren Center, the troubled teen jail that has been the subject of media scrutiny.