Saturday, February 18, 2006

Gitmo tactics coming home

Jail Inmates Were Stripped to Deter Riots - Los Angeles Times

More than 100 inmates at a Los Angeles County jail were ordered to strip naked, had their mattresses taken away and were left with only blankets to cover themselves for a day as Los Angeles Sheriff's Department officials tried to quell racially charged violence that has plagued the jail system for nearly two weeks.

The tactics — defended Friday by jail officials as necessary to stop the fighting — were immediately criticized as dehumanizing and highly inappropriate by civil rights activists and the Sheriff's Department's independent overseer.

"I have no problem taking privileges away…. It comes to a different level of basic human rights if you take away clothing and dignity," said Michael Gennaco, chief of Sheriff Lee Baca's office of independent review. "I don't know if it is consistent with the sheriff's core values."