General Crime

* Lockdown Continues for Hundreds of Inmates at San Quentin State Prison After Riot

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Update 4/20/09

Hundreds of inmates at San Quentin State Prison remained on lockdown today while corrections officers continued to investigate a Thursday riot that appears to have stemmed from a fight between the two racial groups, a correctional lieutenant said.  Lt. Sam Robinson said all black and Hispanic inmates are being confined to their cells and are not partaking in schooling, job assignments
or visits. Additionally, the inmates are not being allowed in the dining hall, where the fight broke out, and are instead eating in their cells. Robinson said officers last week had identified about 40 of the 80 to 100 people they believe were involved in the fight that broke out at around 10 a.m. Thursday in two separate dining halls, Robinson said.  It took pepper spray, rubber bullets and more than 100 officers to tame the crowd. Robinson said a sergeant somehow cut his hand and was treated at the hospital, but no one else was severely injured. The involved parties who have been identified are on administrative segregation, or in separate holding cells away from the main facility, he said. Robinson said the riot appears to have stemmed from a fight between black and Hispanic inmates. The racial rivalry is not a common divide at the prison, he said, but “when one group begins attacking another group in large numbers the group that’s getting attacked tries to defend themselves.”   He said the segregation would remain in place until “we get a firm foundation on what actually transpired and get an idea about whether it’s resolved.”

Hundreds of inmates at San Quentin State Prison are on lockdown today while corrections officers investigate who is responsible for a fight that broke out between two racial groups Thursday, a correctional lieutenant said. Lt. Sam Robinson said today officers have identified about 40 of the 80 to 100 people they believe were involved in tray throwing and punching in an overall vicious fight. Just after the last of about 450 inmates in orange jumpers got his food in the dining hall, the riot broke out around 10 a.m. in pockets in two separate halls in the same area, Robinson said. It took pepper spray, rubber bullets and more than 100 officers to
tame the crowds over a period of 15 minutes because after one area would stop fighting, another would start, he said.  Robinson said a sergeant somehow cut his hand and was treated at the hospital, but no one else was severely injured. The involved parties who have been identified are on administrative segregation, or in separate holding cells away from the main facility, he said.       Robinson said the riot appears to have stemmed from a fight between black and Hispanic inmates, who were also on lockdown and separated from each other. The racial rivalry is not a common divide at the prison, he said, but “when one group begins attacking another group in large numbers the group that’s getting attacked tries to defend themselves.”  He said the segregation will remain in place until they conclude the investigation.

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