Dozens Hurt In Calif. Hispanic-White Prison Riot

Adam Tanner, Reuters, Aug. 8

SAN FRANCISCO—Hundreds of inmates battled at San Quentin State Prison on Monday, leaving 39 injured in the latest eruption of violence between white and Hispanic inmates.

Some inmates used locks or other heavy objects in socks or caps as weapons in the fight, which prison spokesman Vernell Crittendon said appeared to start when Hispanic prisoners attacked whites at breakfast time.

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The riot occurred in a section of the prison housing about 900 inmates who have been under lockdown since Aug. 1 because of earlier fighting between whites and Hispanics, Slosek said.

“They were preparing to start moving the inmates over for breakfast,” Crittendon said. “We had them segregated. The Latino inmates were going to exit and go to breakfast. During that movement, the initial reports indicate that the Latinos began to attack white inmates.”

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Prisoners throughout California often self-segregate along racial lines, sometimes into violent gangs made up of blacks, Hispanic, whites or other groups.

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42 Inmates Hurt in San Quentin Prison Riot

AP, Aug. 9

SAN QUENTIN—The largest riot at San Quentin State Prison in 23 years left 42 inmates injured Monday, three of them seriously enough that they were sent to outside hospitals, authorities said.

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Three seriously injured inmates were taken to hospitals, authorities said.

“One inmate has a slash wound that goes from his ear all the way over to his mouth. It appears he was attacked by a razor blade attached to a toothbrush or a comb,” Crittendon said.

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Authorities had yet to pinpoint what sparked the riot, though they ruled out gang- or drug-related activity.

“We suspect the conflict will center around disrespect,” said Crittendon. “One group felt they were disrespected by another.”

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