The trial against nine correction officers for the brutal beating of an inmate at New York City’s Rikers Island jail started on Thursday, Reuters reported. Bronx prosecutors accused the guards in the July 2012 assault of Jahmal Lightfoot, 30, who suffered two fractured eye sockets and a broken nose.
In the prosecution’s opening remarks, Pishoy Yacoub quoted the “sinister remarks allegedly made by the corrections officers before beatdown,” Buzzfeed observed. “I want to see that mother f&*%ker’s teeth on the floor. Kick his fucking teeth in.”
Yacoub also described that Lightfoot’s injuries included “swelling beyond belief.Face so swollen you’re not going to be able to see the eyes.”
The nine Rikers officers, most of who are African-American and Latino, are accused of taking Lightfoot out line and beating him during a strip-search in relation to a shower assault of another inmate in a prison shower. It’s reported that Lightfoot was singled out because he “locked eyes” with the former assistant chief Eliseo Perez, Jr., who subsequently ordered that Lightfoot be privately search area.
In addition, the prosecution also claims that 3 other guards helped covered up the assault by falsifying records. n those records, one of the officers claimed he was slashed with a weapon by Lightfoot. One remaining officer is also accused of taking part of the assault, but will be tried separately, Reuters noted.
If convicted the officers could each face up to 15 years in prison, Buzzfeed wrote.
Lightfoot is expected to testify as he also has filed a civil suit against the city of New York and the correction officer involved in his beating.