bmore:prison yardfight leaves 17 stabbed

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bmore:prison yardfight leaves 17 stabbed

Unread postby Qdawg » June 1st, 2007, 3:05 pm

Jun 1, 2007 4:31 pm US/Eastern

Maryland Prison Yard Fight Leaves 17 Stabbed

(CBS) BALTIMORE Several inmates were stabbed during a prison yard fight Friday at a Maryland corrections facility in Baltimore, authorities said.

Seventeen people were rushed to the hospital and officials say eight people have serious injuries, reports CBS station WJZ-TV in Baltimore.

Emergency crews found 17 inmates at the Metropolitan Transition Center about 2 p.m. with injuries ranging from lacerations to stab wounds, Baltimore Fire Chief Kevin Cartwright said.

Authorities took inmates in groups outside and searched them looking for any harmful objects. No employees were hurt in the brawl, but the prison was locked down.

Corrections spokeswoman Priscilla Doggett said prison officials were headed to the scene and could not provide details.

"Our paramedics arrived here in quite a chaotic situation," Cartwright said. Paramedics had to wait briefly until correction officers were able to secure the yard before they could treat the injured, Cartwright said.

Cartwright says eight inmates were rushed to local hospitals with injuries that "could be considered life threatening."

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Unread postby Qdawg » June 1st, 2007, 10:05 pm

Gangs clash in prison fight
All stabbed or cut after brawl erupts in yard of facility; 3 critically hurt
By Greg Garland and Annie Linskey
Sun Reporters
Originally published June 1, 2007, 11:02 PM EDT

At least 18 inmates were seriously stabbed or cut and dozens of others were injured when a "major fight" broke out between two groups of prisoners at the Metropolitan Transition Center in Baltimore Friday, authorities said.

The inmates with the worst wounds were taken to area hospitals -- three with critical injuries that could be considered life threatening, said Maj. Priscilla Doggett, spokeswoman for the Maryland Division of Correction. No corrections officers were injured.

Doggett said the fight broke out about 1:30 p.m. in the exercise yard of the facility in the downtown state prison complex off Madison Street. Several weapons were recovered after the melee, and all appeared to be handmade knives, she said.

Two sources familiar with the incident said involved two rival gangs.

"I have no information in terms of what precipitated this," Doggett said, adding that she didn't know if gangs played a role.

She did not know how many inmates were in the yard or corrections officers guarding them at the time of the melee.

It is not unusual for 100 or more inmates to be in a prison yard at one time, with as few as two or three unarmed corrections officers on the ground circulating among them, according to knowledgeable corrections sources. Other guards, armed with weapons, typically stand watch from the prison walls and towers.

Mark Vernarelli, a spokesman for the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, characterized what happened as a "major fight."

"It was not a riot," Vernarelli said. "A riot is when you lose control of a prison."

The prison, a minimum security institution that houses inmates with an average of two years or less remaining on their sentences, is now in lockdown. While the lockdown is in effect, prisoners are largely confined to their cells and denied visiting and other privileges. ... -headlines ... -headlines

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Unread postby Mcminister » June 2nd, 2007, 7:27 pm

seen this shit in the news

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Unread postby Qdawg » June 9th, 2007, 1:31 am

Gang role in prison fight no surprise
Gregory Kane
Originally published Jun 9, 2007

All 18 men injured in the clash at the Metropolitan Transition Center last Friday have been released from the hospital and placed at other state prisons, according to Maj. Priscilla Doggett, a spokeswoman for the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

With the proliferation of gangs in Maryland prisons, I'd have bet money that the fracas started as a beef between the gangs known as the Bloods and Crips.

I'd have lost my money. But I'd have been half right.

Sources say one of the groups involved was indeed the Bloods. The other group was made up of Sunni Muslims. I've heard at least two different versions of how the fight started, and there are probably as many more as there were witnesses.

Doggett said yesterday that the facility is still in lockdown but that prisoners are now being allowed to shower, have hot meals and have access to ice because of the heat. Doggett said that corrections officers who searched cells have recovered more than 100 weapons, and the shakedown isn't done yet.

Doggett remains adamant about not identifying who was involved in the prison fight.

"This is an ongoing investigation," Doggett said Wednesday. "The institute remains locked down. I didn't specify who the groups were. As part of the investigation, we are looking at gang involvement in that incident."

I usually cringe at the words "ongoing investigation," but I can't blame Doggett for being tight-lipped about this one. With the number of gangs now in Maryland prisons, our penal system is a powder keg. Doggett, stressing that she used the singular word "gang" in her comments, told me what gangs have been identified in Maryland prisons.

We have the aforementioned Bloods and Crips, each of which originated in California.

The gang called the Black Guerilla Family has found its way to Maryland. The late prison activist, writer and Black Panther Party member George L. Jackson is said to have started the BGF at California's San Quentin prison in the 1960s, according to some news reports. (Ironically, Black Panther Party founder Huey P. Newton was killed in 1989 by a member of the BGF. Newton had been on the outs with the BGF for a while, not exactly a good career move.)

The Aryan Brotherhood began at San Quentin in 1967, according to some news reports. (Because, we may surmise, white guys need gang affiliation, too.) The AB is now in Maryland. If this list is starting to read like a good reason to give California back to Mexico, that's because it is.

We have the country of El Salvador to thank for the 10 members of MS-13 that officials say are in Maryland prisons. The origins of Dead Man Inc. (DMI) are unclear, but officials say it is a predominantly white gang known for carrying out contract killings for other prisoners.

Conspicuously absent from the list of known prison gangs are any of the Muslim sects. Muslims are technically a religious group, not a gang. But there are those who believe some inmates convert to Islam to gain a very important benefit of being in a gang.

"Islam is not a gang," said Imam Anees Abdul-Rahim of the Muslim Community Cultural Center of Baltimore, "but a lot of young guys are attracted to it because of the protection it provides."

Abdul-Rahim said that some young men who have a "gang mentality" join Muslim groups, even though being in a gang violates the basic tenets of Islam.

Good point. But getting shanked by two or more inmates from rival gangs violates the average inmate's tenets of basic survival. Some of those inmates may convert to Islam, and not because Muslims in prison are a gang. They convert because Muslims in prison, even though not a gang, still have a certain amount of "juice" - street slang for "respect and credibility."

Another way of putting it: behind prison walls - and on some of Baltimore's streets - juice means "mess with us, and there will be consequences."

So it's really immaterial what started the Sunni Muslim-Bloods mini-war at MTC last Friday. Doggett is still riding a tiger at DPSCS, as are all officials there. It's perfectly understandable that she says "At this point, it would not be wise to talk about what caused the incident."

She doesn't have to. We all pretty much know it was all about beef and juice. That's the way of life - and sometimes death - behind prison walls.

Beef and juice are often what it's about on Baltimore's streets too. That's why we've had 130 homicides already this year. It's a safe bet that whoever killed taxi driver Ghulam Mustafa earlier this week in what's been called a "road rage" incident believed he had some major juice to settle even a minor beef. ... -headlines

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