From the Los Angeles Times
Another Inmate Dies in Racial Fighting
A black man collapses at the L.A. County Men's Central Jail after a brawl with Latinos.
By Charles Ornstein and Julie Cart
Times Staff Writers
February 13, 2006
A black inmate died Sunday afternoon after a racially motivated fight at Los Angeles County's Men's Central Jail. He is the second inmate to die in nine days of unrelenting riots between blacks and Latinos in the county jail system.
The 38-year-old inmate, whose name was not released, took part in a brawl that pitted him and another black inmate against the four Latinos in his cellblock at the downtown jail, said Sheriff's Deputy Alba Yates.
The death is being investigated as a homicide, she said.
The recent spate of violence began Feb. 4 with a melee involving more than 2,000 inmates at the North County Correctional Facility, part of the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic.
Wayne Tiznor, 45, a rapist in jail on a parole violation for failing to register as a sex offender, was slain in that riot, and dozens of others were injured.
The unrest has continued despite emergency lockdowns at all county jails and the hastily ordered racial segregation of inmates in some wards. Because of the charged nature of any decision to segregate by race, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has not separated black and Latino inmates throughout the system.
Violence continued Sunday at Pitchess Detention Center, the site of most of the fights among inmates. More than 90 inmates fought in the jail's North Facility about 3:30 p.m., said Sheriff's Deputy Luis Castro. Four inmates suffered minor injuries. Two were taken to a local hospital and the other two were treated at the scene.
As they did in previous incidents, sheriff's deputies broke up the scuffles using tear gas and pellet weapons known as sting balls. No deputies were injured.
If ruled a homicide, Sunday's death at the Men's Central Jail would mark the eighth inmate slain in the outmoded facility in the last 2 1/2 years.
In that incident, what began as a fight between two of the men "escalated when the inmates separated along racial lines and began to fight," Yates said.
After the fight was broken up by sheriff's deputies, the two black inmates complained of pain and were escorted to the jail medical clinic. One fell unconscious in the hallway and could not be resuscitated. He was pronounced dead about 1:50 p.m., Yates said.
The other black inmate was treated for minor injuries.
The county coroner's office said the inmate's relatives had not been notified. Sheriff's officials declined to say why he was in jail.
Investigators suspect the Feb. 4 riot was ordered by Mexican Mafia prison gang leaders, who they say encouraged Latino jail inmates to attack blacks. The melee was in retaliation for an attack on one of their associates that they said was committed by a black gang member in Los Angeles, officials have said.
After last week's violence, officials said known gang members and accused murderers would be moved from both Pitchess and the Men's Central Jail. Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said Sunday night that process was ongoing, with the more high-risk inmates being moved to "more secure locations."
Officials also attempted to quell the violence by separating inmates according to race, but chose only to do that at the North County Correctional Facility, the site of the initial riot Feb. 4.
But sheriff's officials said repeatedly last week that they are uncomfortable with racial separation of inmates — a move allowed by law in emergencies only — so that process was halted over the weekend. Whitmore said the desegregation was underway in all but one section of the jail.
Elected officials and clergy have called for an end to the violent brawling, and said publicly that they fear the violence will continue when inmates are released and go back home.
Experts have blamed the disturbances, in part, on the dormitory-style housing that places violent offenders in close quarters.
With only about 1,000 single cells available in a system that houses 21,000 people, jailers have said, even in times of crisis it is impossible to separate all inmates.
The facilities mostly predate the explosion of gang-related crime in Los Angeles County and are ill-equipped to handle increasingly violent inmates, officials said. Though racial tensions have always been high in the county jail system, officials said, in recent years the domination of Latino gangs has left African Americans particularly vulnerable to attacks.
Because of demographic shifts in the county, officials said, Latinos now outnumber blacks in the dormitories.
Department officials have said that they lacked the staffing needed to house violent offenders at Twin Towers, a newer jail facility that has more single and double-occupancy cells.
Instead, they housed the most dangerous inmates at the much older Men's Central Jail and at the Pitchess Detention Center, where inmates are housed in groups of up to 100.
Copyright 2006 Los Angeles Times
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If I was a black gangsta, listening to the black "leaders" complaining about how the latinos are picking on the poor defenseless blacks, I wouldn't be really happy.
Things are getting nasty down in South Central - "Watts" (a subset of South Central) is almost all hispanic now and the conflicts between blacks and latinos is over jobs, ( a lot more poor blacks and poor latinos than there are crummy rotten jobs), gang physical turfs, who is going to sell what.
I wouldn't be surprised to see this erupt into parts of the community in general. Frankly the blacks used to be the poor suppressed minority that were the beneficiaries of most of the largesse from the Democrats and the taxpayers. Now the hispanics seem to be taking over the political pie. The mayor is blatantly pro-Mexican, the Dems voted mostly pro-hispanic last elections.
We've seen a rash of attacks on "dayworkers" in the Pasadena area, the reaction from the media was very biased toward the illegal aliens without commenting on the problems the influx of really cheap labor has had on the poor black community.
Without being non-PC and primarily based on my perceptions, I can say what I've seen in the last 50 years in most of the greater LA area. Most of the trash and garbage collectors were black, most of the janitorial force was black, a lot of black and japanese gardeners. hotel and motel workers, etc, and a decent proportion of the black community has advanced into the middle and upper classes. But down at the bottom, blacks are being squeezed out of the crummy historically black jobs by hispanic and other aliens. Teenagers are having problems finding the classic teenager first jobs because immigrants of all shapes and sizes are willing to work those jobs and are available all the time including school hours.
So yeah, one could expect the shtf in some areas. The GOP comes in and makes a good push about cleaning out the illegal aliens, the Dems are going to have to decide whether they need to pander to their new darlings or back to the blacks. If the blacks move to the GOP in even moderate numbers the Dems are out.
Oh well. One less mouth for tax-payers to feed.
My give-a-crap meter is still at 0. Let the garbage kill themselves -- no loss to society and it might actually be a net positive considering it was a rapist on a parole violation that got dead.