An L.A. jail brawl left several injured after inmates separated along racial lines and fought.
The brawl took place Tuesday afternoon, breaking out at the Twin Towers Jail in Los Angeles. The racially charged fight raged on for a few minutes before deputies were finally able to regain control. They used a barrage of pepper spray and sting balls to stop inmates from fighting.
There were differing reports of the number injured, but it was reported that four were taken to the hospital after the brawl between Latino and black inmates.
“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 said.
Whitmore added that the incident is under investigation, and there will likely be charges for the inmates who fought.
Los Angeles County has the largest county jail system in the world, housing close to 19,000 inmates each day.
Authorities said the L.A. jail brawl is not all that uncommon of an occurrence. Disturbances there and at the neighboring Men’s Central Jail are common, but officials said multi-inmate brawls occur less frequently.
For jail officials, the brawls have become an unfortunate reality as tension rises among inmates, who are separated by racial groups.
“This is something that does occur throughout our jail system from time to time,” said Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said, as quoted by the L.A. Times. “People in our jails are under a lot of tension … and it does regrettably happen.”
Those fights aren’t always just among inmates. In 2011, a fight broke out among Men’s Central jail employees at a Christmas party in Los Angeles. Afterward jail officials conducted a months-long investigation and fired seven deputies.
Twin Towers Correctional Facility is known as the jail where Paris Hilton served time in 2007.
Deputies noted that they’re still investigating the cause of the L.A. jail brawl.