New York City Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio is not only "turning his back on" corrections officers working under deteriorating conditions at Rikers Island, according to a union boss, the mayor might be "criminally negligent."
"At this point, I feel like the mayor has been criminally negligent," Correction Officers' Benevolent Association President Benny Boscio told Fox News. "He so wrapped up in his ideology of closing Rikers that he doesn't even have an answer for the violence that we're dealing with."
Understaffed and overworked, officers are being violently attacked by inmates and Fox News shared video it believes to be from Rikers, showing punching and kicking officers in the head and body at the prison detention center.
"Broken bones, stitches, stabbings – officers are getting stabbed," Boscio told Fox News. "We're being seriously assaulted."
Not only are corrections officers in danger, but "it's impossible for us to do our jobs, defend ourselves, being that overworked, to defend other inmates," according to Boscio.
"We're working 25-plus hours straight, no meal breaks, the conditions of having gang members in the same housing areas – gang affiliated housing – we're being assaulted with impunity," Boscio added.
The understaffing under Mayor de Blasio is accompanied by a 23% jump in inmates being held at Rikers for violent crimes, according to the report.
The New York City Department of Correction (DOC) has seen a 300% rise of officers taking sick time in July 2021 compared to July 2020, a spokesman told Fox News.
Dept. of Corrections Commissioner Vincent Schiraldi, who took office this June, told Fox News in a statement he is "deeply concerned about the safety of our staff, medical staff, and incarcerated people in our facilities and are working hard to improve conditions."
"We have been taking extensive measures to encourage staff to return to work, to relieve those who have been heroically working extra shifts to compensate, and to make this an environment where any parent would feel like their own son or daughter was safe working or living here," the statement continued.
Boscio lamented de Blasio has not visited Rikers Island in "over four years."
"It’s like nobody cares," Boscio told Fox News. "I feel like they've washed their hands of us."
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