The Twin Towers jail. (Los Angeles Times )
A fight along racial lines involving as many 62 inmates erupted shortly after noon in Los Angeles County's Twin Towers Jail, leaving four of those in custody needing medical treatment.
The brawl between Latino and black inmates broke out at 12:10 p.m in the third-floor recreation area of Tower 1 and was quashed in about 90 seconds after deputies deployed sting balls and gas, sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said.
"We cannot say how many of the inmates were exactly involved, but 62 were in the area at the time," Whitmore said. The altercation left four inmates needing treatment at the medical center with cuts and bruises. Whitmore said deputies immediately deployed two sting balls and gas designed to clear areas.
Twin Towers is among the county's most modern jails with module-designed levels. Although such fights have been common at the Pitchess facility in Castaic, Twin Towers is rarely the scene of multi-inmate clashes.
Whitmore said the incident is being investigated and charges are likely to be forthcoming once the culprits are clearly identified.
Los Angeles County operates the country's largest jail system housing around 18,000 to 19,000 inmates daily. Sheriff Lee Baca in the last few years has come in for scathing criticism for his operation of the jails.
Recently, the FBI broadened its investigation into violence in the jail system and Baca hired an outsider to over see its operations. That investigation has secured one deputy's conviction and according to sources is now examining two new cases of unprovoked beatings involving deputies.
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