13 Injured in Racial Fight at Pitchess Jail

Sheriff’s deputies said Monday that racial tensions sparked a weekend brawl at the Pitchess Detention Center that involved more than two dozen Latino and African American inmates and left 13 injured.

Investigators have not found a specific incident that ignited Sunday night’s fight, said Deputy Bob Kleen, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

“They are getting on each other’s nerves,” he said.

The conflict was the latest in a series of brawls between the two groups at the Pitchess jail. In November, authorities imposed a four-day lock-down after three nights of brawling that involved 1,500 prisoners, injuring 243 inmates and four deputies.


None of the inmates in Sunday’s incident was seriously hurt, but three were taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center for stitches. No officers were hurt.

The fight, which started about 8 p.m., involved about half of the 71 prisoners in the dormitory. Kleen said officers ended the fight with verbal orders in less than three minutes.

He said inmates involved in the fight will be sent to other facilities to reduce tension. Correctional officers try to keep the two groups separate, but crowding makes that difficult, Kleen said.