Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Race riot in California prison between blacks and Hispanics

Adam Tanner:

A major California prison riot involving 800 inmates started when a black and a Hispanic prisoner began fighting, prompting other prisoners to join divided along racial lines, an official said on Sunday.

More than 50 people were treated for injuries suffered in the Saturday riot at the California Institution for Men in Chino east of Los Angeles. Guards battled for four hours to quell the fighting, which began at 9:24 a.m. on Saturday, said Oscar Hidalgo, a spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

"They used everything from tear gas, batons, they used wooden and foam projectiles," he said of the guards. "There were so many inmates involved at one time that they had to pull back and regroup."

It was one of the state's largest such uprisings in years.

"We believe initially two individuals were fighting in the yard which were a black and a Hispanic inmate," said Mark Hargrove, a spokesman for the Chino prison. "Everyone kind of drew their racial lines and began fighting between the races."

Inmates in California's prisons often join racially based gangs and shun interaction with those from other races.

Is anyone really surprised that this sort of thing keeps happening?


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