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By The Skanner News
Published: 08 February 2006

CASTAIC, Calif.—Most of Los Angeles County's jail system was on lockdown Monday after fighting broke out between Blacks and Hispanics at two jails over the weekend. One inmate died in the fighting, and more than 100 others were injured.

The lockdown was intended to reduce tensions, and it wasn't clear how long it would remain in effect, said Lt. Robert Craton, a watch commander at the North County Correctional Facility.

"We are making every attempt to get back to normal," he said.

BlackandHispanic inmates at the North County Correctional Facility were segregated Saturday after the fighting broke out among 1,800 to 2,000 inmates and a Black inmate was killed. Craton said the inmates were still separated early Monday.

Normally, authorities can't segregate prisoners based on race or ethnicity, but legal advisers said it can be done in emergency situations, said Sam Jones, chief custody officer of the county jail system.

The second riot broke out late Sunday at the adjacent North Facility jail, involving about 200 Hispanic and Black inmates and wounding 10 people, said Deputy Alba Yates of the Los Angeles CountySheriff's Department.

The North Facility was not on lockdown when the fighting broke out in four dorms, but was locked down afterward, said watch commander Lt. Bob Hudson. Each sleeping dorm holds up to 90 inmates, he said.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Bill Spear said officials at other jails in the 21,000-inmate system had implemented lockdowns as a precaution, but he didn't immediately know how many.

Authorities said they were investigating whether the two weekend riots were related.

Saturday's riot appeared to be fueled by a feud between Black and Hispanic gangs, investigators said. Wayne Robert Tiznor, a 45-year-old Black inmate, was killed during the fighting, though it wasn't clear if he was singled out. He had been jailed after an arrest Jan. 3 for failing to register as a sex offender, sheriff's officials said.

It appeared no weapons were used, but inmates tossed mattresses and banged heads against bunk beds, officials said.

— The Associated Press

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