Correctional Officers Michael McKie, Khalid Nelson and Denise Albright have been arrested on charges that they organized a fight club of inmates called “The Program.” Using teen enforcers called “The Team,” they allegedly oversaw a system of beatings, extortion, and terror at Rikers prison in New York. They even allegedly held classes on how to beat prisoners to leave as few marks as possible.
The alleged program was discovered after the death of inmate Christopher Robinson – who refused to take part in “The Program.” In Robinson’s death, McKie and Nelson are charged with enterprise corruption rather than ordering the bearing. Albright is charged with conspiracy and assault. The men insist that they are being framed by inmates.
However, a dozen inmates have also been charged, including three with manslaughter.
Correction Commissioner Martin Horn said the allegations “broke my heart.” However, the question is how such a system could exist without the knowledge of other guards. If beating were routinely dispensed, why didn’t other officers notice and report the incidents. It is true that the first rule of fight club is “no one talks about fight club.” But the bruises should have spoken for themselves.
One could expect a wrongful death action to be filed by the Robinson family.
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