HEADLINE: WALLENS RIDGE INMATE SAYS RIOT WAS RACIALLY MOTIVATED
BYLINE: The Associated Press
An inmate involved in a riot at Wallens Ridge State Prison earlier this month says the incident grew out of frustration with the way blacks and Hispanics are treated at the supermax facility.
In a letter written to an inmate support group in his home state of Connecticut, inmate Michael Reddick said an attempt by a group of about 70 inmates to discuss their concerns was met with gunfire. Eighteen of the inmates received minor injuries after correctional officers opened fire on the group with shotguns that fire rubber pellets the morning of Dec. 3, prison officials said.
As the inmates were walking back to their cells from the dining area, they violated prison rules by leaving the sidewalk and banding together in the center of a recreation yard.
Reddick said the group demanded to know why black and Hispanic inmates were targeted for "intimidation and harassment" by correctional officers. He said the group also sought a meeting with a prison officer.