Eight Auburn Correctional Facility officers were reportedly injured in an attack by a large group of inmates earlier this month.
According to a news release from the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association, the attack occurred on May 11 in an outdoor recreation yard as two inmates were being escorted by two officers to their cells for disciplinary reasons. NYSCOPBA said that once they reached the gate entrance to the facility, the inmates refused to go back inside and attacked the officers. About 25 more inmates than joined the attack.
A chemical agent was fired from a roof post, but it had no effect. Additional staff who arrived to the yard were also attacked, and one officer was knocked unconscious, according to the release.
After several minutes, the chemical agent started to affect the inmates as they ran to the lower end of the yard. The inmates were eventually returned to their cells.
The injured officers were treated at Auburn Community Hospital for cuts, abrasions, bruising and swelling. All inmates involved in the attack were placed in a special housing unit. An investigation of the attack is ongoing.
The day after the attack, a cell frisk was conducted, which found six makeshift weapons that were hidden in inmate cells.
NYSCOPBA said that on May 13, while officers were conducting additional searches, an inmate attempted to attack the officers. The inmate was grabbed and held in a body hold. Four officers involved in the struggle were injured and treated at ACH.
"Auburn Correctional Facility remains one of the most dangerous prisons in the state," said Joe Miano, western region vice president of NYSCOPBA, in the release. "On a consistent basis staff is assaulted, inmate on inmate fights occur and large numbers of weapons are seized. The attack on staff by more than two dozen inmates in the recreation yard could have been seconds away from one of our members being gravely injured.
"While the Governor continues to take credit for reducing the inmate population and closing a record amount of prisons, the hard working men and women of NYSCOPBA are at risk every day when they enter one of the facilities. Select legislators continue to call for additional reductions in discipline for inmates, leaving literally no deterrent for attacks like this one. When will those elected officials start to take notice that these men and women, who dedicate themselves to keeping our communities safe, deserve their support? They certainly haven’t shown it up to now!”