Supporters rally for correction officer they claim was falsely convicted in Rikers attack

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THE BRONX -

Supporters of a former correction officer who was convicted in a 2012 Rikers Island beating are demanding his release from prison based on new evidence they claim shows he's innocent.

Those supporting ex-Correction Capt. Gerald Vaughn gathered outside the Bronx County Hall of Justice to proclaim his innocence. Vaughn is among six correction officers convicted in the beating of Jahmal Lightfoot. He is serving 5 and a half years in prison.

Vaughn's lawyer has filed a motion for a new trial.

"The motion is to vacate his order -- actually under the claims of actual innocence, he actually is innocent," says attorney Justin Bonus. "Newly discovered evidence and ineffective counsel ... there's a slew of legal arguments here."

Supporters claim that Vaughn, who was the commanding officer at the time of the inmate attack, did not order other officers to assault the victim. They claim new evidence from other inmates clears Vaughn.

The Bronx district attorney's office says it is not commenting on the issue.

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