Rikers Island Fight Club Ring Broken, Officers Plead Not Guilty

via NY Daily News

Officers Michael McKie, Khalid Nelson and Denise Albright called their fight club “The Program,” and the teens they recruited as enforcers were “The Team,” officials said.

Team members were allowed to extort commissary money, clothing and phone privileges from other city jail inmates. robinson_mom

Those who didn’t cooperate were beaten – and McKie and Nelson set the time, place and punishment, prosecutors said.

“They didn’t turn a blind eye to violence. They authorized and directed it,” Assistant District Attorney James Goward said at the trio’s arraignment.

“They turned jail into what might be called almost a nightmare environment where inmates were subjected to beatings, where inmates were recruited to commit beatings.”

In one case, Nelson had one group of prisoners show another the right way to deliver a beating so the injuries wouldn’t be so noticeable, prosecutors said.

Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson said the motive was laziness: “It made their job easier.”

The abuse at Rikers’ Robert N. Devoren Center came to light after the Oct. 18 death of inmate Christopher Robinson – who refused to take part in “The Program.”

A hotline tip led to a probe into “predatory behavior,” said Department of Investigation Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn said. rikers_guard

The officers aren’t accused of ordering Robinson’s beating. Instead, McKie and Nelson are charged with enterprise corruption. Albright, a lesser player, is charged with conspiracy and assault. All three pleaded not guilty in Bronx Supreme Court.

McKie and Albright’s lawyer, Joe Jackson, called the 58-count indictment a “web of lies” spun by criminals. McKie’s mother, Carolyn, said the charges were “nothing but wickedness and lies.” Nelson’s lawyer, Renee Hill, said he “vehemently denies these charges.”

McKie and Nelson were held in lieu of $200,000 bail, while the judge set Albright’s bail at $50,000 – which the correction officers union said was “appalling.” All three officers were being held in the Westchester County Jail.

A dozen inmates also were charged, including three accused of manslaughter in Robinson’s death: Anquant Bryant, 18, of the Bronx; Joseph Hutchinson, 18, of Manhattan, and Shaddon Beswick, 18, of the Bronx.

Correction Commissioner Martin Horn said the allegations “broke my heart.”

“If the behavior alleged today is proven, these officers have stained … the good name of the 9,000-plus men and women who work in our jails every day,” Horn said.

Horn said the suspects weren’t caught sooner because they went to great lengths to conceal “The Program,” including lying in reports and signals to alert one another and inmates to supervisors.

Officials said there was no link between McKie and Lloyd Nicholson, a correction officer arrested in February for a similar scheme, also dubbed “The Program.”

Outside court, Robinson’s mother, Charnel, cried as she applauded the arrests.

“I feel like I’m one step closer to getting justice today,” she said, flanked by her lawyer, Sanford Rubenstein, who has sued the city.

25 thoughts on “Rikers Island Fight Club Ring Broken, Officers Plead Not Guilty

  1. Has anyone recently been incarcerated at EMTC? Does the “Rape Room” still exist? Does it happen in intake? Has anyone been able to bring about a successful criminal case against the perpetrators?

  2. guard gonzalez at emtc works the day shift and is guard gamble protage good luck staying out of prison max payne

  3. Officer Gamble he is an EMTC guard also known as c76 is a rapeist and murderer. I have proof. Gamble watch your back because juis near dont mis role call for the next few weeks.

  4. I dont under stand how all these bodies keep on turning up murdered. The c.oS are killing people for the thrill of it. Its about time the jail guards are brought to justis. I hear the feds are involved and some ROLL CALL arrests are going to be made. RIKERS ISLAND is a law less place. Run by armed jail guards. With little or no oversite by the CAPTAINS who work very hard to condone and sometimes direct the rape-squads & the death-squads. Not to forget the beat-down squads. Their should & will be radical changes soon.

  5. the rape room at rikers is real I was subjectd to it and have proof My attorney tells I have a multi million doller cace, And for all you scum bags at inn intake bldg 6 here comes the feds.Enjoy your time behind bars. johnv conner

  6. the RAPE ROOM AT RIKERS. IAM almost shocked by the allegations. But I have it from an ex captain from the 6 building [sentenced inmates] that the rape room at rikers is a reaility I also heard the feds want a part of rikers.So all you C/Os who are guilty. watch your back.

  7. I have heard about the rape room at rikers in c/76 1st floor sentenced building. It needs to be destroyed. But first the room needs to be photographed.

  8. Fight the good fight. You have more people on your side than you think. The c/os that are GUILTY will be handled.

  9. Fight the good fight. You have more people on your side than you think. The c/os that are GUILTY will be handled.

  10. I & some friends are going to sue the city and rikers island for millions. I was subjected 2 the rape room at rikers. I was not raped but it was close the c/os sent a rape squad into the holding cell with me I was able to talk the rape squad [THE squad was made up of unsentenced inmates & I was sentenced 2 30 days] Iam inn the process of being depossed. More to come stay tuned.

  11. Iam happy its coming to light. Some c/os are guilty and some brass are guilty. the I.G is coming for you!!!

  12. Iam glad its starting to come to light. Rikers needs a serious make over.To all the dirty c/os Watch your back.

  13. michael kalid and denise you are guilty. own up to it and do your time. Its not so bad inn their
    . Really

  14. all the co/s are guilty that have been charged. I hope you denise and kalid and the ot5her one get the maximum. years how does it feel?

  15. Its amazing that its finally out. The truth is out their, all it takes is the TRUTH!!!!! Iam a former visitor of the island and I know for sure that if you talk about all what happens their, their is a good possibility that the c/os will try to kill you yo keep its secrets. I would go to the FBI with the RAPE ROOM AT RIKERS. I also know some one who wasa their and can testify to all of the above. rikers is a city jail run by the c/os but they not all but a hand full that are worst that the inmates. the truth will be known. here comes the F.B.I

  16. It feels like ist about to explode.Iam surprised that the truth is coming out after all these years. I was in rikers a while back and saw first thing saw while I along with others were in a holding cell I saw first hand the power of the c/os. and how the c/os work with a selected inmates on avery thing from extorsion, to rapr squads being directed by the c/os. It has to stop. fight the good fight. john conner.

  17. I apploud your courage I have a feeling the house of rikers is about too come down. I will contact my attorney also and see what I can do to help. stay strong. oliver

  18. I thought Nobody knew about the rape room at rikers. except the guy who have been raped.After I spoke 2 1 guy about his being raped on the 1st floor intake all the way in the back ware their are video cameres hidden in what the brass thinks are advantages places.The entire island is wired 4 sound and video via a closed circut. Iam in the process of suing the island a hand full of c/os and the brass NAMES will come out in court. I have been DEPOSED & all the evidence in photo copoed.

  19. I heard about the rape room at rikers. I knew from other sources that it was real and know I know that it is. You should go to the daily news with your story. I have never been their but I know a lot of people who have been. All of them have stories about the c/o @ all the viloence perpatrated by the c/os. It must come to light. You should report it.

  20. The program is still in affect. I have proof. Who wants to know about the RAPE ROOM at RIKERS?

  21. yall co’ss can suck my dick and die yall broke ass bronx co’ss yall no wat yall did i was in there fuk rikers

  22. Denise Albright was @ the wrong place @ the wrong time. DENISE ALBRIGHT is new ,that proves her story in a nut shell
    when your new you dont know anything unless told to know ,even when you think you know –your in doubt.
    She is a fall guy for those inmates trying to get an out of jail card free and diffently if nothing else a shorter stay.

    FOR ONCE LETS NOT LET HER THE NEW ONE, BE A FALL GUY .

    4 years as a correction officer she still can’t call alot of her fellow officiers name without seeing thier tag.
    my Heart BLEEDS for Christopher Robinson and his mother.

    My Heart BREAKS for DENISE ALBRIGHT I bet she doesn’t know what is happening. Snitch -shes probaly thinking, ON WHO ? for what! If shes new -they- her superior officers should be in her place. IS THIS AN ELECTION YEAR. When inmates cooporate the biggest question is whats in it for them. I bet DENISE ALBRIGHT was the one too name who could not pose any threats for there long stay in jail when its all said and done the ring leaders are still going to be wathcing over the program.
    NOW GET THOSE IN CHARGE OF THE HOUSE Whether there pensions are on the line or not. If they where faithful when she got there she could have never gotten caught up in this MESS.

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