Inmate killed in Pitchess riot

first_img Latino and African-American inmates were segregated into separate facilities after the fighting was quelled, officials said. “The inmates themselves are somewhat traumatized and they will want to get back into the usual form of living,” Baca said. No deputies were injured. Baca said he plans to talk to American Civil Liberties Union representatives and other officials about whether some form of segregation is tolerable in lessening interracial violence in jails. “If there’s any better ideas, I’d love to hear about it,” Baca said. The fighting broke out about 3:20 p.m. Saturday in two cellblocks in the 8,200-inmate complex’s newest section, the North County Correctional Facility, dedicated in 1990. The facility holds up to 3,800 inmates, both men serving sentences for lesser offenses and those awaiting trials or sentencing on more serious crimes. Brawls broke out repeatedly at Pitchess during the 1990s and the first part of this decade. Fights between inmates or between small groups of inmates are fairly common, but this brawl was distinguished by the hundreds of inmates involved, officials said. “This could be described as one of our larger ones,” Baca said. The earlier brawls were sometimes premeditated attacks, but officials said others broke out over concerns that may seem trivial to outsiders: an African- American sitting at a “Latino” dining table, or a Latino using a telephone the African-Americans considered theirs. The biggest Pitchess riot was in 1996, involving some 2,500 men and injuring close to 200 over three days. In 2003, Los Angeles County officials agreed to pay $725,000 to an African-American inmate who was stabbed 21 times and whose head was bashed onto a concrete floor, putting him in a wheelchair for life, during a 2000 melee involving about 60 inmates in a dormitory. The 2000 brawl erupted when Latino prisoners sought retaliation against African-American inmates for an incident at another jail. Large brawls also occurred along racial lines in 2002. In one of them, more than 260 inmates fought at the North County Correctional Facility in what officials said was a planned attack in four dormitories. Deputies stopped that fighting in about 10 minutes. Eugene Tong, (661) 257-5253 eugene.tong@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Los Angeles County jails are subject both to racial tensions and to street-gang rivalry, officials said. “The same thing that is going on out in the streets, when you have an enclosed environment it just compounds it,” said Sam Jones, the Sheriff’s Department custody chief. The Pitchess inmate who was killed was African-American, described by officials as a 45-year-old registered sex offender. His name was not immediately released. Most injured inmates suffered blunt-force trauma, some from being hit by beds and other objects thrown from the two-story cellblocks’ upper walkways. About 200 inmates were seriously involved in the fighting, while about 2,000 total threw objects and otherwise caused trouble for guards. CASTAIC – More than 200 inmates battled Saturday as the worst rioting in at least four years broke out at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s massive Pitchess Detention Center. One inmate was killed and 46 were injured, 20 seriously, before guards – reinforced by 200 law enforcement officers brought in from around Los Angeles County – quelled the fighting with the help of tear gas, “sting balls” that spray tiny rubber pellets and flash-bang grenades. “The inmates need to know who’s really in charge, once a disturbance like this occurs,” Sheriff Lee Baca said. Baca said the riot is believed to have started with Latino inmates attacking African-Americans in retaliation for the stabbing two days earlier of a Latino gang member by an African-American gang member at Men’s Central Jail downtown. last_img

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