Four San Francisco sheriff’s deputies have been suspended after they allegedly forced inmates at the San Francisco County jail to fight each other and allegedly bet on the fights, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The US Justice Department has been asked to investigate the alleged incidents, about which San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi said “I can only describe this as an outrageously sadistic scenario that sounds like it’s out of Game of Thrones.”
In one alleged fight, the guards told a 150-pound inmate to fight a 300-pound inmate or else he would be beaten, handcuffed and tasered, the Chronicle reported.
The inmates allegedly were told not to seek medical attention after the fights, but told that if they did to tell doctors they fell out of their bunks.
The deputies also allegedly promised hamburgers to the inmates if they won the fights, but threatened them with pepper spray and violence if they refused to participate, Mr Adachi said.
One of the four deputies allegedly involved in this case was accused in 2006 of sexually assaulting inmates. That case was eventually settled out of court. All four deputies were put on administrative leave on Thursday.
San Francisco County Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi has called on the Justice Department to investigate these claims.
The San Francisco Deputy Sheriff’s Associate – the union that represents the accused – said the allegations were exaggerated and called the fighting “little more than horseplay”, the Guardian reported.
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