Last week, two San Francisco sheriff’s deputies and a deputy are accused of turning a prison into a fight club and forcing inmates to pummel each other.
District Attorney George Gascon announced the charges and said that the deputies had committed severe crimes that break “the moral authority of law enforcement.”
He commented that subjecting inmates to inhuman treatment was a mockery of judicial system. Gascon is joined by FBI special agent David J. Johnson in charge of San Francisco, reported Los Angeles Times.
The so-called fight club came to light when a father of one of the inmates complained to the San Francisco public defender’s office. Apparently last year, gladiator style fights were staged on the seventh floor of the Hall of Justice Jail and one of the inmate complained about it to his father. The father in turn informed the authorities about it.
Another inmate confirmed that former deputy sheriff Scott Neu and deputy Eugene Jones organised the fights and then placed bets on the competitors. Scott Neu was fired last year for organising the fight club. The inmate said that he was forced to fight and threatened that he would be beaten if he refused, as reported by news.com.au.
Deputy Eugene Jones and Scott Neu have 17 charges against them, which includes assault by an officer and criminal threats. Deputy Clifford Chiba, on the other hand, is charged with cruel and unusual punishment of an inmate and failing to report fights.
Apparently, Neu was the ringleader. He is accused of threatening to cuff and beat two inmates if they refused to fight. Chiba advised the two on how to perform better in their second fight.
Goerge Gascon said that the three deputies displayed “grossly inhumane treatment” toward the two inmates. He stated that one of the two suffered an injured rib.
However, this is not the first instance of Prison fight clubs. According to San Francisco Public Press, 20 years back a similar incident was reported. In 1997, the troubling stories of “gladiator matches” emerged from Corcoran California State Prison. Eight officers were accused of triggering fight between rival gang members within the prison premises and betting on the outcome. All of them were charged with federal civil rights violation. In 2000 all 8 officers were acquitted.
Prisons are different world in North America. Recently, a Mexico prison changed the definition of prison life, as it provided the inmates all the luxuries of a five star hotel.