Report: Excessive force continues at Rikers Island

NEW YORK (AP) — A report by a federal monitor overseeing reforms at New York City’s Rikers Island jail complex says guards continue to use excessive force at an “alarming rate.”

Monday’s report says inmates have been unnecessarily struck in the head while handcuffed, slammed against walls, put into chokeholds and doused with pepper spray.

The report claims these incidents are often not reported accurately and sometimes ignored.

Department of Correction Commissioner Joseph Ponte says the department is moving quickly to fix these issues. He says uses of force at facilities housing its youngest inmates are the lowest they’ve been in years.

The independent monitor was installed after a 2015 agreement to settle civil litigation over pervasive brutality at Rikers.

Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio said last week that he wants to close Rikers.