A former Rikers Island inmate reportedly claims he was able to sneak a cellphone into the prison and broadcast the weapons he had via Facebook Live.
The anonymous inmate provided the video in question to PIX 11; in it, the inmate shows off his uniform, food, and a “chop” — a word commonly used by Rikers inmates to describe a blade — concealed in his mouth. During his interview with PIX 11, the man claimed that he made the blade, but only had it as a joke since he could “fight very well.” As for the contraband phone, the inmate claims that he was able to waltz right into Rikers with the mobile device in his possession.
“I brought it [cellphone] straight in with me,” he said. “The metal detectors ain’t right, that is the only thing I can say.”
The former inmate is said to have gone public with the video to expose the prison’s poor conditions, according to Gizmodo. The video, recorded on July 22, was reportedly viewed more than 7,000 times before being taken down. “The officers feel we have no say, no rights, no freedom of speech,” the former inmate commented.
The Department of Corrections released the following statement about the inmate and what his video allegedly revealed:
Safety for staff and inmates is Commissioner Ponte’s top priority. This individual was arrested and is facing serious charges. This video is under investigation. The 43% jump in contraband finds at DOC this year demonstrates that Commissioner Ponte’s comprehensive reforms of our entrance procedures are working.
As we have previously done, we are continuing to seek a change to state law in order to authorize the use of body scanners, which we already own. The scanners can detect the scalpels and other small blades that evade detection by other machines. With more than 50 state-of-the-art x-ray machines, metal detectors, and other detection devices, we look forward to further success in stemming the flow of dangerous items into our jails.
Photo: PIX 11