Rikers Island has been under scrutiny for its violent treatment of inmates lately, but Norman Seabrook, who heads the union representing New York's correction officers, wants you to know that guards don't exactly have it easy.
"The bottom line is, do you want shit thrown in your mouth? They're not just talking shit to us, they're dousing us with it. We want people to know what we do 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."
That colorful quote served to explain a social media campaign, launched by the Correction Officers Benevolent Association this week, to publicize assaults on prison workers. Today, it posted on Facebook about nine officers who were sent to the hospital with injuries from inmates and two who were splashed with "possible feces/urine/blood"; yesterday, it was a 15-inmate fight and three CO's hospitalized.
Being a correction officer, especially in Rikers, must be a terrifying, enormously stressful job, and many of the men and women doing it are brave and admirable people—no one is disputing that. But all the terror, all the feces/urine/blood in the world, doesn't make dragging a mentally ill prisoner away from security cameras and beating him to death excusable.
[Image via AP]