FACT CHECK: Do Rikers guards face a double standard?

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- After four New York City correction officers were injured by inmates in just over a month, the president of the Correction Officer's Benevolent Association, the union representing city correction officers, accused Mayor Bill de Blasio and other city managers of having a double standard.

Elias Husamudeen alleged city management would not tolerate the number of attacks his guys have experienced if the victims had been police officers.

"I think the city would have been shut down. Quite frankly this is not something that they would tolerate," Husamudeen said. "It would be treated much, much different."

7 On Your Side Investigates decided to fact check Husamudeen's comments and obtained the latest "Use of Force Report" available from the New York Police Department.

That Use of Force Report indicated that in 2016, police had a roughly 1 in 10 chance of being the victims of assault on the job.

Data from the Department of Correction from that same year indicated correction officers had a slightly smaller chance, roughly 1 in 11, of becoming the victims of assault on the job.

The data also indicated when assaulted, correction officers were less likely to experience serious injury.

"NYC police officers accept risk as part of the job, but we expect to treated and compensated as the professional law enforcement officers that we are," said New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch, responding to 7 On Your Side Investigates findings. "City management understands that it is our dedication to duty that drives us to put ourselves in harm's way to protect this city, but they abuse that dedication by failing to pay us a market rate of pay. We will always do the job and take the risk, but we will fight with all of our collective strength for fair pay."

It turns out, while police officers get assaulted at a slightly higher rate than correction officers, city payroll data also indicates police officers have a starting base salary of $42,500, $542 less than correction officers.

7 On Your Side Investigates told Husamudeen based on those findings, his comments were not accurate and requested comment.

"What we have in common is that we are law enforcement officers," Husamudeen said. "As far as the rate of who's going to get hurt more, who's going to get hurt the fastest, it doesn't really matter."

A spokesperson for the mayor also provided a statement responding to Husamudeen's comments and 7 on Your Side Investigates' findings.

"Police and correction officers are among the bravest and most dedicated men and women in our workforce," spokesperson Natalie Grybauskas said. "No attack on a city employee is ever tolerated, and we're always working to ensure their safety."


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