For days after the June prison break, corrections officers carried out what seemed like a campaign of retribution against dozens of Clinton inmates, particularly those on the honor block, an investigation by The New York Times found. In letters reviewed by The Times, as well as prison interviews, inmates described a strikingly similar litany of abuses, including being beaten while handcuffed, choked and slammed against cell bars and walls.
They were also subjected to harsh policies ordered by the State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision: Dozens of inmates, many of whom had won the right to live on the honor block after years of good behavior, were transferred out of Clinton to other prisons. Many were placed in solitary confinement, and stripped of privileges they had accrued over the years — even though no prisoners have yet to be linked to Mr. Matt’s and Mr. Sweat’s actions.Indeed, it is prison employees who have been implicated: One has pleaded guilty to aiding the escape; another faces criminal charges; nine officers have been suspended and the prison’s leadership has been removed.More than 60 inmates have filed complaints with Prisoners’ Legal Services, an organization that assists indigent prisoners. And 10 members of an inmate council at Clinton signed a letter last month to state corrections officials making similar allegations.“We have been daily getting complaints along these lines from around the state,” said Michael Cassidy, a lawyer for Prisoners’ Legal Services.
One of the prisoners was beaten just hours after Governor Cuomo spoke to him and "stared him down":
It would be several hours before the first details of the escape were made public. Around 11 a.m., Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo toured the honor block and inspected the holes that the inmates had cut in the backs of their cells with hacksaw blades.The governor then stopped to question Mr. Alexander.“Must have kept you awake with all that cutting, huh?” Mr. Cuomo asked, according to video of the exchange. Then, Mr. Alexander said, the governor “gave me his best tough guy stare and walked off.”
Later, the governor said he would be “shocked” if any correction officers were involved.Twice during the day of the escape, Mr. Alexander said that he was questioned by investigators from the State Police and Corrections Department inspector general’s office.Then, at about 8 p.m., he was handcuffed and taken to a broom closet where, he said, three corrections officers whom he had never seen before interrogated him. An officer wearing a jacket with the initials C.I.U. — Crisis Intervention Unit — sat down and asked him, “Do you know the difference between this interview and those other interviews?” Mr. Alexander recalled.This time, the officer warned, there were only uniformed guards in the room, Mr. Alexander said.
“The officer jumps up and grabs me by my throat, lifts me out of the chair, slams my head into the pipe along the wall,” he said. “Then he starts punching me in the face. The other two get up and start hitting me also in the ribs and stomach.”With each punch, Mr. Alexander said, the officers shouted another question.“The whole time he’s holding me up by my throat,” he added.When Mr. Alexander repeatedly insisted that he had no information, one officer pointed to a plastic bag hanging on some pipes, asked if he knew what it was for and said, “You know what waterboarding is?” Mr. Alexander recalled.The officer then put the bag over his head and started beating him again, Mr. Alexander said.
He said the interrogation lasted about 20 minutes, and he was then taken, bleeding, back to his cell.
Later, Mr. Alexander said, the same officer “began quietly taunting and threatening me, telling me, ‘Don’t worry, Fat Boy, we’ll be seeing you really soon.’ ”
Gee, how convenient that the prisoner next to Richard Matt, the guy Cuomo gave a tough guy stare down to, got beaten just hours after Cuomo left the prison.
Clearly the message came from the top, do whatever you have to do to get information that will help track down the prisoners.
Did Cuomo order the beatings of the prisoners?
Probably not in so many words, no.
But the visit to the prison, the tough guy stance, certainly contributed to the disgraceful doings at Dannemora after the prison break.
There needs to be an independent investigation of this, one that is not controlled by Cuomo.
Louis Flores noted this on twitter:
Preet probed Rikers over inmate abuse. Now abuse at #Clinton ? @perdidostschool @N8TchsGr8 @sullio @CuomoWatch @danarubinstein @MercyMercyf— Louis Flores (@maslowsneeds) August 11, 2015
If the Rikers abuse needed a Bharara investigation, so does the Dannemora abuse.
I don't know how to put this so its clear enough, but I will try:ReplyDelete
NOTHING. WILL. HAPPEN. TO. CUOMO.
Does his staredown and seeming free-pass to listening guards mean that he, in any provable way, is somehow connected to or legally consented to the ensuing beatdowns??? NO!
Just like everything else with Cuomo, NOTHING PROVABLE!
Not one thing. Nothing.
Does he look like a complete asshole? DEFINITELY. Does that mean anything? NO! If we, as citizens of NY State, know ANYTHING, its that Andrew Cuomo does not mind looking like the world's biggest asshole.
Whats Preet going to find on Cuomo here? Nothing. Just like Preet has NOTHING to indict Cuomo with on Moreland or just being the sleaziest Gov. in the country. Silver, Skelos, and some smaller apples, thats it. Done.
We have Cuomo with the VP of the United States, we have Cuomo getting rhetorically serviced by party-up-and-comers (Stringer, etc), we have public conjecture/conversation about Cuomo as a potential Biden VP.....its very legible...Cuomo is alive, will not be indicted, and has a future.
Lets stop looking for our salvation in Cuomo going down. Hes not. Hes the Gov we got, and he hates us teachers with a stripe that is a mile wide. Thems the cards we're dealt. Organizing, being smarter (easy), being more eager for a fight, and being unwilling to negotiate is our path forward.
Not looking for salvation in Cuomo going down - looking for an independent investigation of the prison beatings at Clinton Correctional.Delete
Do tell us more, Amazing Cuomo Kreskin. When will Cuomo take his next shit?Delete
Based on available evidence, I'd assume his next dump will be attempted on the collective face of teachers at the earliest possible opportunity.Delete
That is what we call an informed guess, which is different from a wild-ass guess. Available evidence pumped through the lens of the must historically usual and least complex outcomes.
Others, I guess, prefer to be surprised and shocked all the time.
That's 100% pure drivel. Shove it back up your arse.Delete
Definitely, of course.ReplyDelete
Where's the rhetoric out of Cuomo's office against the meathead, wanna-be-paramilitary, unionized, pensioned, corrections officers? Where's the APPR for them? Where is VAM for Corrections?
That should be our rhetoric....where is the push for a VAM-based APPR for Corrections, Troopers, Firefighters, etc etc etc etc etc etc. NYSUT would do good work screaming that from the rooftops. God forbid the heroes have insane, corporate driven "accountability."
That's all I'm saying. Incidents like this, abuse like this, cannot go uninvestigated.Delete
I love it! Let's get other public servants evaluated and held accountable. We can start working on field test questions. Don't be concerned about our lack of familiarity with the day to day tasks of their jobs. We can make it up as we go along just like they do for us. Everything will turn out fine.
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