MAXIMUM SECURITY FACILITY ON LOCKDOWN AS RACIAL TENSIONS RISE
April 24, 2012 (Phoenix, AZ) Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio ordered parts of the maximum security 4th Avenue Jail be placed on indefinite lockdown as racial tensions rise – tensions brought on by orders from the Mexican Mafia chieftains who appear to be trying to control the downtown jail. Arpaio’s move to lockdown the jail aims to protect not only officers but inmates as well.
According to the Sheriff’s jail intelligence unit, super max Mexican Mafia inmates housed in the closed custody unit of the 4th Avenue jail are putting out orders to all Hispanic inmates to refuse to be housed with black inmates.
Chieftains, as they call themselves, are also demanding racial fights occur. And fights have been on the increase, Arpaio says. Detention officers have intervened only later to be threatened. And last Monday, a large scale fight involving 25 Hispanic and black inmates broke out before detention officers could quell the problem. No serious injuries were reported.
Arpaio says Sheriff’s jail intelligence officers have monitored conversations by Mexican Mafia members who are ordering racial beat downs on all black inmates and to engage detention officers in any way. Shanks and contraband are on the increase and have been intercepted by officers.
In addition, a number of detention officers lives have been threatened in recent weeks. One officer had to relocate his entire family from their north valley home while other officers have had to be reassigned to ensure their personal safety.
“Most of the violence,” Arpaio says, “is occurring on the 3rd floor of the jail so that entire block of 750 inmates is on lockdown. All privileges including canteen, visitation, phone and recreation have been suspended until further notice. Our goal is to break the bond between the Mexican mafia chieftains and the lower level Hispanic inmates. The Mexican mafia doesn’t run this jail – we do.”
The 4th Avenue Jail is the most secure maximum facility jail in the Southwestern United States. With approximately 1800 male inmates housed currently, the racial breakdown is as follows:
735 white, 556 Hispanic, 415 Black, 79 Native American, 15 Asian, 7 other.