Posted on February 28, 2005

480 Inmates Brawl at Tehachapi Prison; Facility Stays on Lockdown

AP, Feb. 25

TEHACHAPI, Calif.—The state prison in Tehachapi remained on lockdown Friday after violent race riot broke out among hundreds of inmates, leaving three of them injured.

In all, 480 inmates went after each other in the common yard at 6:10 p.m. Thursday, said Mike Coghlan, a spokesman for the California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi, medium security facility.

The melee between black and Hispanic inmates lasted 40 minutes before guards were able to bring it under control using tear gas, pepper spray and non-lethal baton rounds from firearms, Coghlan said.

“This is a fairly large one,” Coghlan said of the size of the brawl.

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The brawl came just a day after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that state prisons cannot segregate inmates by race, even temporarily, except under the most extraordinary circumstances.

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