In addition to criminal charges brought against them earlier this month by District Attorney George Gascón, San Francisco Sheriff's deputies who allegedly led forced Fight Club-like matches between inmates, engaging in patterns of abuse against them, will face a civil lawsuit from those inmates. All the inmates are currently out on bail.
Plaintiff's Ricardo Palikiko Garcia, Stanley Harris, and Keith Dwayne Richardson sued several Deputies yesterday according to the Chronicle, alleging that the Department and its then leader Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi violated their constitutional rights by intentionally inflicting emotional distress and cruel and unusual punishment upon them.
The deputies named in the criminal case are Scott Neu, Clifford Chiba, and Eugene Jones, and they've all pleaded not guilty. Neu, the alleged ringleader of the action in the county jail on the seventh floor of the Hall of Justice, has since been fired by the Sheriff's office and has a storied history of alleged abuses including sexual acts of violence against inmates. Those deputies are again named in the lawsuit brought by the inmates, now with the addition of Deputy Evan Staehely.
Inmates Garcia and Harris say they were forced to bruise and bloody one another twice as deputies watched and laid their bets, while refusal to do combat would cost them privileges. Garcia, much smaller than Harris, left the ersatz ring with injured ribs, and at one point, he says, lost consciousness.
In another instance, plaintiff Richardson, who is black, claims Neu attempted to make him fight a white man by employing racial slurs. The inmates also allege that Neu would make them gamble for food and television privileges. Reporting the conditions would lead to beatings, inmates say deputies threatened. The situation left Public Defender Jeff Adachi to describe deputies' actions as “like [something] out of Game of Thrones.”
Between brawls, Neu would allegedly force Harris to do push-ups, sometimes as many as 200 in an hour, ribbing him that he was "training his prize fighter."