Inspector General Called on to Investigate Public Safety on Roosevelt Island & Create Resident-Led Oversight Body by City Council Candidate Ben Kallos; Recent Incident Receives Citywide Attention, Leaves RI Residents Wanting Action

Recent Incident Receives Citywide Attention, Leaves RI Residents Wanting Action

Roosevelt Island, N.Y. - Ben Kallos, a candidate for City Council in the 5th District, issued a letter to the state Inspector General yesterday requesting the creation of an oversight body consisting of residents and an investigation into the “unprovoked” attack of 20-year-old Roosevelt Island resident Anthony Jones by members the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department.   The Daily News reported Monday that the officers “beat [Jones] to within an inch of his life simply for standing in front of a building,” according to Jones’ family.

“Who watches the watchmen -- on Roosevelt Island?” questioned City Council candidate Benjamin Kallos.

Roosevelt Island’s Public Safety Department is part of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC), an entity under the jurisdiction of the State, not the City, and therefore under the jurisdiction of the Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Branch and Acting State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott.

On January 13th, Public Safety officials allegedly rushed the 20 year old victim without warning and beat him to the point of fracturing his ribs and puncturing his lungs. The family has responded with a lawsuit. The RIOC Public Safety Department Officials have still taken no action regarding the incident, declining comment, citing the family’s impending litigation.

“An investigation by the Inspector General can finally put an end to this ongoing problem making Roosevelt Island a safer place for residents who shouldn’t be afraid of those sworn to protect them,” explained Kallos. 

“We ask that the Inspector General include a community oversight body composed of residents in any resolution to our complaint,” proposed Kallos. “This solution is the only resolution that can help to prevent future incidents.”

Kallos has positioned himself as the “can do” City Council candidate committed to listening to the concerns of Roosevelt Island citizens, responding with swift action and delivering real results.  He has proposed the opening of a district office on the Island, if elected, which would be a first for the City Council district.  You can learn more about his campaign or read more solutions from his “open platform” at http://KallosForCouncil.com/Solutions/Roosevelt-Island

The text of the complaint follows. PDF version attached for download.

January 30, 2013

Catherine Leahy Scott
Acting State Inspector General
Office of the State Inspector General
Empire State Plaza, Agency Building 2, 16th Floor
Albany, New York 12223

Re:       Complaint Regarding Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation Public Safety Department

Dear Inspector General Scott,

Yesterday, the Daily News in an article titled "So-called 'peace officers' on Roosevelt Island are being sued over savage beating of 20-year-old who claims he was just waiting in front of a building" reported that Roosevelt Island resident Anthony Jones suffered fractured ribs and a pierced lung in an 'unprovoked' attack without being charged with a crime at the hands of state employees and officers of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation's Public Safety Department.

Under New York State Executive Law Article 4-A the Public Safety Department and its employees are a part of Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation which is a State entity under the jurisdiction of your office.

On behalf of Anthony Jones and the residents of Roosevelt Island, I am writing to request that the Office of the Inspector General investigate the incident alleged in this article as well as previous incidents relating to the conduct of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation Public Safety Department.

We respectfully request that any resolution to your investigation include the implementation and ongoing support for a body comprised of residents of Roosevelt Island to oversee and review the conduct of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation Public Safety Department.

Thank you in advance for your assistance in ensuring that State government, its employees and those who work with the state meet the highest standards of honesty, accountability, and efficiency.

Sincerely,

Benjamin Kallos

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