Public still wants answers about riot

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, August 15, 2012

We may never know exactly what led to the chaos that turned deadly on May 20 at the Adams County Correctional Center.

Court documents filed by the FBI last week provided at least a bit more information about what happened in the hours leading up to the prison riot that left the county in shock as one guard was killed and dozens more wounded.

The FBI affidavit showed that in some ways both of the possible causes that emerged in the hours after the tragedy had some basis in fact.

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A prison gang dispute was, at least in part, a factor.

Further, prisoners were upset over what they perceived as substandard conditions and disrespectful guards.

The FBI investigator suggests both causes were true, but many questions remain, including:

– Was there any basis for the prisoners’ claims of mistreatment?

– Was there a breakdown on the part of prison management to allow the riot to get out of hand?

– Who, exactly, was responsible for killing the guard and will he be prosecuted?

We trust, however, that the FBI and the federal courts will work diligently to answer all these questions for the public and ensure that any inmate responsible is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

If the accusations of prisoner mistreatment are true, the prison’s management must answer to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

If they are false, publicizing the truth will go a long way toward clearing the air after this most tragic of instances and, perhaps, put the blame fully where it belongs — on the prisoners who turned violent.