Guards at NY's Rikers jail sue, say city making it unsafe

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The nation's largest municipal jail guard union has sued New York City, saying recent sweeping changes enacted at the jails have empowered violent inmates and endangered corrections officers.

The lawsuit filed Friday in Manhattan federal court alleges jail violence has increased 18 percent recently.

In the lawsuit, the Correction Officers' Benevolent Association seeks changes to the work environment for guards and unspecified damages. A city law office spokesman says the lawsuit will be reviewed.

The lawsuit says policies put in place since 2015 have put an emphasis on inmates' well-being and have "shockingly neglected" the safety of the guards.

The city has been forced to comply with a 2015 settlement of civil litigation over pervasive brutality. It imposed stricter policies on use of force and added thousands of surveillance cameras.