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Macho Boys: Chivalry Rikers Island Style

Blye Mastersen is a smart-ass 18 year old man/boy.  He got locked up on Rikers Island for small time marijuana sales charges and was awaiting trial.  One day he was being transported on the bus from court in Brooklyn back to the Island.  He complained to an officer that his cuffs were too tight, but he was ignored.  He complained a second time, and a female CO was nice enough to adjust his cuffs so they weren’t painful anymore.

So here’s the smart ass part.  As a way of saying thank you to the female CO, he licked his lips in a sexual manner at her.  Maddening for sure.  Deep down we all want to pop Blye, but we don’t.

Some correctional officers don’t see the need for such restraint.  The male correction officers on that bus could have been the adults by showing Blye how to act, or if they weren’t interested in being excellent correction officers, they could have simply ignored such a stupid and juvenile act.  But unfortunately, you will find that many correction officers let the teenage detainees dictate the grade level by which problems large and small get resolved.

So here’s the scene that was paid for with your tax dollars.  Before doing the routine drop off to the intake entrances for each building, the bus detours to the Transportation garage, where the buses are housed and maintained.  Blye and the person he is handcuffed to are taken off the bus by a correction officer.  Blye is uncuffed from the other detainee and led into the garage.  Minutes later they emerged, the correction officer unscathed and Blye with a black eye and broken nose, beaten down behind a broken down correction bus.

What’s the message to young and admittedly stupid very young men like Blye Masterson?  The law of the jungle rules.  If you’re going to be rude to a woman, you better be the strongest male around.  As taxpayers and as people who must live with Blye for the foreseeable future once he’s released, is that the message we want him to take back to the street?  As emotionally satisfying as Blye getting his comeuppance might be, is that an effective use of your tax dollars?  Is this what we’re paying for?

The assault on Blye Masterson was an abuse of public trust, and one, I might add, that he was not held accountable for.  In fact, Blye spent 90 days in solitary for, apparently, letting his face get in the way of an officer’s fist.  If you can’t bring yourself to feel empathy for an inmate on Rikers Island, then at least think about what you are getting for your hard earned money.

Founding partner Leo Glickman has a long track record of holding the powerful accountable and fighting for progressive candidates and causes. Mr. Glickman represents candidates for Statewide and Citywide offices as well as many candidates for local legislative positions.

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