Demand For More Protection Of Correction Officers Following Rikers Attacks

CeFaan Kim

A week after the city announced a reduction on correction officers, there has been another attack on Rikers Island by an inmate. Three guards were attacked by an inmate on Sunday.

In his first television interview since becoming the President of the Correction Officers' Union, Elias Husamudeen is putting the blame squarely on Mayor de Blasio and the Department of Correction Commissioner.

"My message to the mayor is treat correction officers the way you treat other law enforcement officers in the city. Treat us the way you treat police officers. Care about us," Husamudeen says.

Husamudeen certainly did not mince his words after Sunday morning's attack on a Rikers Island correction officer. The officer was slashed in the arm with a scalpel blade, cutting open his forearm - however, not before the inmate allegedly knocked a second officer out cold.

Husamudeen says the Department of Correction Commissioner is responsible.

"The commissioner should either do his job or leave. Leave. If you can't do the job, if you're not up to the task, then leave," he adds.

In a statement, Commissioner Joseph Ponte says the department has already lightened search procedures to keep out weapons, and other contraband, adding, "as we have previously done, we will continue to see a change to state law in order to authorize the use of body scanners, which we already own. The scanners can detect the type of weapon used by this inmate."

"They are not even using it. They are not even using it because of a lawsuit, so they're more afraid of a lawsuit than they are of a correction officer being killed," adds Husamudeen.

Eyewitness News reached out to Mayor de Blasio's office, but have not heard back.

The inmate was arrested and charged with assault. All three officers were treated and released from the hospital.