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05.07.15 Prachi Gupta

Men in blue today get a bad rep, but they look like schoolyard bullies when compared to Michael Dowd, the ex-NYPD officer who slung crack cocaine in Brooklyn’s murder capital, East New York, at the height of the drug’s epidemic. Dowd, who served the 75th Precinct for a decade, made up to $4,000 a week […]

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12.11.14 Rhett Jones

An ex-Rikers corrections officer says that his boss repeatedly encouraged disciplining inmates off-the-books, and when one mentally ill inmate ingested a detergent ball that contained bleach, the supervisor let the man die a slow and painful death. Raymond Castro testified in court that his former supervisor at Rikers Island, Capt. Terrence Pendergrass, would routinely endorsed keeping inmate […]

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10.28.14 Prachi Gupta

At long last, one of the men at the center of the mass cover-up of violence within Rikers Island has resigned, reports The New York Post. William Clemons, the Chief of the Department of Corrections, has “submitted his resignation Monday under pressure from Correction Commissioner Joseph Ponte,” according to the Post’s sources. Clemons became warden […]

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09.22.14 Marina Galperina

If you needed proof that New York’s jail system is rotten to the core, the New York Times has just obtained a confidential report which reveals edits made to a Rikers Island audit back in 2011. It proves that, contrary to the reports at the time, violence in the prison hadn’t actually decreased. Instead, data was manipulated, tracks were covered […]

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09.08.14 Amy K. Nelson

The 66-year-old police commissioner of New York City Bill Bratton testified in front of city council on Monday morning and he did little to assuage the perception that anything within his department is in need of major reform. The session at City Hall was called to address changes needed within Bratton’s department and was in direct response to […]

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08.04.14 Amy K. Nelson

Rikers Island inmates aged 16-18 are subject to institutionalized abuse, constitutional rights violations and systemic corruption, according to the findings in a blistering U.S. Department of Justice report released on Monday. The 79-page report out of the United States Attorney’s Office in Manhattan details horrific conditions for male teenagers housed there between 2011-13. DOJ investigators say there is a […]

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06.05.14 Sophie Weiner

In the most recent issue of The Baffler, Rhonda Lieberman published an extensive piece on the art collectors of the “new Gilded Age.” Almost everyone Lieberman mentions is both obscenely wealthy and exploitative. One of them is Bernie Madoff, whose office art included a four foot screw so expensive that Madoff’s lawyer didn’t want it disclosed […]

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07.29.13 Julia Dawidowicz

“Innocent until proven guilty” doesn’t mean much when it’s this easy to be “proven guilty.” Case in point: Donald Andrews, the owner of a head shop in Scotia, New York, who was the target of a paid police informant’s bogus drug bust in April. All it took was a sneakily planted crack-cocaine baggie onto the […]

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04.10.12 Marina Galperina

Just hours after the residents of this apartment building in Kazakhstan’s Besoba complex were forced to evacuate, it falls, disappearing into a cloud of dust. “The horror. The horror! [Untranslatable expletive]. Aaah!!!” If the collapse looks peculiar, you’re right. What could account for its house of cards fragility, the Potemkin quality of the front wall falling […]

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04.06.12 Marina Galperina

This is Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill I. This is the holy man wearing a Breguet timepiece worth at least $30,000, matching his swanky gilded hat and the general opulence of the Russian Eastern Orthodox Church. It’s a bad look though, so when the church press service posted the photo, they tucked the offensive bling under […]

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