From the article: “The inmate who was shot was kicking the victim in the head with two other inmates Wednesday afternoon when a guard ordered them to stop, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.”
An officer fired two warning shots, but the inmates continued the assault. The inmate aggressor was then shot in the hip. The victim of the assault (not the gun shot) lost consciousness and was taken to the hospital. Read more here.
Considering that the inmate that the officer shot was hit in the hip, it leads me to wonder – where was he aiming? My general understanding is that after you’ve fired a warning shot, you shoot to kill, but I am not familiar with CDCR use of force policies. Some brief research led me to this policy, which indicates that the warning shots themselves are considered use of deadly force, which leads me to believe that the next shot, aiming at a person’s body, was probably intended to kill. I assume the staff are extremely well-trained in firearms, but either he was supposed to shoot to kill and missed, or he did not shoot to kill, but to wound, which seems like it could be a violation of policy (and dangerous, because I doubt the hip was too far from the inmate victim or other inmates in general). I guess the up-side is simply that no one was killed.
My brief research also led me to this interesting monitoring and oversight document by the Office of the Inspector General on use of force in the CDCR in the first six months of 2012. What is most interesting from my perspective is that CDCR reported 3,189 use of force incidents in six months. In comparison, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation of Correction reported 6,221 incidents total in 2011. CDCR has about 123,000 inmates, give or take. ODRC had about 50,000 on average in 2011. Thus, Ohio has under half the CA inmate population, but about the same number of reported uses of force. This could mean simply that Ohio staff are better at reporting uses of force, but it certainly raises questions…