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Union: 15 officers injured in Rikers Island fight with inmates

From Monika Plocienniczak, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A union official representing corrections officers says inmates assaulted guards
  • 15 officers were injured before order was restored, the union official says

New York (CNN) -- Fifteen corrections officers were injured Tuesday night after a scuffle with inmates at the Rikers Island correctional facility in the Bronx, according to a spokesman for the union that represents the officers.

The conflict began at about 8 p.m. at the Otis Bantum Corrections Center, one of the largest components at Rikers, said Corrections Officers' Benevolent Association spokesman Michael Skelly.

Inmates assaulted several officers who were trying to lock them in for the evening, Skelly said. Additional officers responded and were also attacked, he said.

The jail's emergency service unit responded and restored order to the facility, Skelly said.

Skelly could not provide further details on the conditions of the officers or of the inmates.

"Correction officers are being violently attacked at the hands of inmates because they know that staffing levels are low," union president Norman wrote in a statement, "and the Department of Correction continues to cut posts, jeopardizing the safety and security of Correction Officers and inmates alike. It's just a matter of time before an officer is killed at the hands of one of these violent individuals."

Representatives from the Department of Corrections could not be reached for comment.