L.A. Jail Brawl Between Black, Latino Inmates Injures 12

on April 3, 2013 10:59 AM EDT

L.A. Jail Brawl
A racially charged brawl at an L.A. jail injured a dozen inmates. (Photo: Reuters)

An L.A. jail brawl at the famed Twin Towers jail erupted on a third floor rec area when two groups of black and latino inmates started clashing. The L.A. jail brawl lasted about 10 minutes before jail guards broke it up using anti-riot equipment like rubber bullets and pepper spray. Officials aren't sure how many inmates were involved in the L.A. jail brawl, but believe the fight started between just four men before escalating.

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"We cannot say how many of the inmates were exactly involved, but 62 were in the area at the time," sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore told the L.A. Times. "This is something that does occur throughout our jail system from time to time. People in our jails are under a lot of tension ... and it does regrettably happen."

The estimates of inmates hurt in the L.A. jail brawl varied, with the Los Angeles Fire Department putting the total at a dozen hurt. The Associated Press reported that seven inmates were taken to the hospital with minor to moderate injuries,with some of them being treated for exposure to pepper spray. None of the injures were considered life-threatening.

Los Angeles County operates the country's largest jail system housing around 18,000 to 19,000 inmates daily. The L.A. jail brawl is not uncommon within the system, where racial tensions run high and criticism of the corrections department has led to an FBI investigation.

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