ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

October 13, 2011

2011.10.13: RE: C.O. Union Donates to OWS

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2011 11:16 AM
To: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: RE: C.O. Union Donates to OWS

Good to hear, but as our Prisoners’ Rights Project can attest, COBA (like the PBA) has consistently encouraged, defended and/or denied systemic brutality against our clients, often on blatantly racist grounds.

See, e.g.:

6-Year Sentence for Guard in Rikers Island Beatings
“We don’t think there is a ‘program,’ ” Mr. Skelly said. “It’s something the inmates concocted as a means for filing lawsuits to get better housing accommodation or monetary gain.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/07/nyregion/07guard.html?scp=3&sq=%22correction+officers%27+benevolent+association%22&st=nyt

Inmate Beatings Decrease, but Continue, at Rikers
Union officials are enraged at the department’s decision to hire someone specifically to investigate the conduct of officers in the Bing, especially since he is a prosecutor who had charged officers with abuse.
http://www.nytimes.com/1997/03/01/nyregion/inmate-beatings-decrease-but-continue-at-rikers.html?scp=87&sq=%22correction+officers%27+benevolent+association%22&st=nyt

Inmate Beatings Decrease, but Continue, at Rikers
Norman Seabrook, the president of the Correction Officers Benevolent Association, denied systematic beatings. “We just don’t go in there and beat the crap out of someone just to establish control,” he said. But he said “the atmosphere is a jungle type atmosphere, it’s survival” and when an officer is hit by an inmate “you have a right to defend yourself by punching him or grabbing him.”
http://www.nytimes.com/1996/01/28/nyregion/who-guards-the-guards-at-rikers-a-history-of-beatings.html?scp=94&sq=%22correction+officers%27+benevolent+association%22&st=nyt

3 Are Said to Plead Guilty In Rikers Brutality Inquiry
But Norman Seabrook, the president of the Correction Officers Benevolent Association, said he believed the allegations were unfounded and were the result of investigators’ believing the unsubstantiated claims of inmates. He said “uses of force” by officers that ordinary citizens might view as brutal are sometimes necessary because inmates “are trying to kill you.”
http://www.nytimes.com/1996/01/23/nyregion/3-are-said-to-plead-guilty-in-rikers-brutality-inquiry.html?scp=95&sq=%22correction+officers%27+benevolent+association%22&st=nyt

Guards’ Chief Says Dinkins Backs Inmates
The union head, Philip Seelig, who is white, made the accusation during a meeting with editors and reporters at The Daily News on Wednesday. The remarks appeared in the newspaper yesterday. ”The Mayor is a minority mayor, and the largest number of inmates, as the Mayor well knows, are minority,” Mr. Seelig said in the article.
http://www.nytimes.com/1990/08/24/nyregion/guards-chief-says-dinkins-backs-inmates.html

Rikers Inmate Dies and Inquiry Begins
The violence started about 6:30 P.M. Tuesday after the Correction Officers Benevolent Association and the city reached an agreement on Use of Force regulations, ending a two-day blockade of the bridge to Rikers Island by about 600 officers. Legal Aid lawyers representing the inmates have charged that after the disturbance was quelled, correction officers lined up prisoners and beat them in retaliation.
http://www.nytimes.com/1990/08/19/nyregion/rikers-inmate-dies-and-inquiry-begins.html?scp=140&sq=%22correction+officers%27+benevolent+association%22&st=nyt

After Uprising at Rikers, Guards Are Said to Have Beaten Inmates
The Commissioner of Correction, Allyn R. Sielaff, said he had ”no evidence that excessive force was used.” He also said there was no retaliation by the guards. Phil Seelig, the president of the Correction Officers Benevolent Association, said, ”I have no information to substantiate” the allegations.
http://www.nytimes.com/1990/08/16/nyregion/after-uprising-at-rikers-guards-are-said-to-have-beaten-inmates.html?scp=143&sq=%22correction+officers%27+benevolent+association%22&st=nyt
_____________________________________________
From: B.
Sent: Thursday, October 13, 2011 9:14 AM
To: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: RE: C.O. Union Donates to OWS

Since several people asked me, C.O. meaning Correctional Officers Union, there is a specific reference to the President of that Union who assisted with food supplies for OWS protesters.

_____________________________________________
From: B.
Sent: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 12:41 PM
To: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: C.O. Union Donates to OWS

Short clip, it comes from the 2nd person interviewed on this Democracy Now segment:
http://www.democracynow.org/2011/10/11/with_a_kitchen_library_medical_area

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