Civil Rights Violation Lawyer David Perecman Demands More Information on Head Shot Tactics Allegedly Used on Rikers Prisoners

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New York civil rights violation lawyer David Perecman of The Perecman Firm weighs in on the ‘head shot’ tactics allegedly used on Rikers Island prisoners. It is said corrections officers routinely use this potentially fatal tactic.

New York civil rights violation lawyer

The Perecman Firm

The Eighth Amendment prohibits ‘cruel and unusual punishments.’ For prisoners, it has been interpreted to prohibit use of excessive force by prison guards.

Civil rights violation lawyer David Perecman, founder of The Perecman Firm, wants more information on Rikers prisoners. A new report acquired by the Associated Press revealed that nearly a third of Rikers prisoners who claimed their visible injuries were caused by a guard had suffered a blow to the head. This tactic, also known as a "head shot,” is supposed to be a last resort because it can be potentially fatal, said Fox News (3.6.14).

“The law allows prison guards to use reasonable force with inmates with the purpose of maintaining order and discipline, but not to cause harm,” said Perecman.

The internal report by the New York City Department of Health was obtained by the Associated Press via a Freedom of Information request, said Fox News.

The report also showed that three inmates a day, on average, were treated for visible injuries said to be caused by correction officers, reported Fox News. In total, there were 8,557 verified injuries among Rikers' inmates between April 2012 and April 2013. Of those, 1,257 injuries were said to be the result of use-of-force by corrections officers. Among the alleged guard-caused injuries, 28 percent involved a blow to the head.

Before resorting to "head shots,” officers are supposed to use less forceful measures, such as issuing verbal orders, using pepper spray or stun guns and grasping or pushing inmates. Some head and facial injuries caused by the “head shots” are nose fractures, cheekbone fractures and cuts to the eyes, lips and face.

Proposed solutions from The City Department of Correction for reducing use-of-force issues included stepping up investigations and adding nearly 2,000 security cameras, said Fox News.

“The Eighth Amendment prohibits ‘cruel and unusual punishments.’ For prisoners, it has been interpreted to prohibit use of excessive force by prison guards,” said Perecman

The FOX News story cited is “APNewsBreak: Many NY inmates report 'head shots,' tactic is supposed to be guards' last resort.”

Individuals who believe they have been victims of a New York civil rights violation, including police brutality or inhumane treatment of prisoners can contact The Perecman Firm at 212-977-7033.

About David Perecman and The Perecman Firm, PLLC:
For the past 30 years, the New York personal injury, medical malpractice, construction accident, and civil rights violation lawyers at The Perecman Firm, PLLC have handled all types of civil rights violation cases in New York including prison guard abuse. David Perecman, founder of the Firm, has been recognized for his achievements as an Honoree in the National Law Journal's Hall of Fame, in New York Magazine's "The Best Lawyers in America" and The New York Times Magazine "New York Super Lawyers, Metro Edition" for the years 2007-2010. The prestigious U.S. News & World Report ranks The Perecman Firm among the top 20 personal injury firms in New York City for 2011-2012 and 2012-2013.

The Firm has recovered millions of dollars for its clients. Among the more recent victories, Mr. Perecman won a $15 million verdict** for a construction accident (Index 112370/03) Supreme Court, New York County, a $5.35 million dollar verdict*** for an automobile accident (Index 2749/04) Supreme Court, Kings County, and a $40 million dollar structured settlement for medical malpractice (Index 2146/03)****Supreme Court, Kings County.
The Perecman Firm serves Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island, Westchester, Upstate NY, Morris County, and Rockland County.

**later settled while on appeal for $7.940 million    
*** later settled for $3.5 million
**** total potential payout

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Penni Horwich
The Perecman Firm
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