Thirty-one Elmwood jail inmates extensively beat, stripped and bloodied a fellow Santa Clara County inmate for cooperating with law enforcement, according to a press release from the district attorney’s office Tuesday morning—nearly six months after the fact.
For five minutes and 37 seconds, the 40-year-old victim was brutally punched, kicked and attacked minutes after entering a dormitory jail unit dedicated to gang members around 7:30pm on November 30, according to the release. The DAs office said evidence suggests the attack was retaliation after the victim provided information on a pending criminal case.
“Violence is no more acceptable behind bars than it is outside them,” DA Jeff Rosen said Tuesday.
Questions linger about the longevity of the beating.
No explanation was given about why correctional staff failed to intervene, despite the attack being audible and in the line of sight of a nearby guard window. In the latest addition to a laundry list of complaints against the conditions within the Santa Clara County jail system, The Mercury News reported that the sheriff’s office was resistant in sharing information with prosecutors due, in part, to concerns about jail deputies' lack of engagement.
The man suffered cuts to his face and head, several broken ribs and floor cleaning poured on his face. All 31 inmates identified in the attack were charged by a grand jury with felony assault and participating in a criminal street gang. A handful of others will face additional changes of inflicting great bodily injury, witness intimidation and retaliating against a witness.
The incident was captured by video surveillance cameras, but the DAs office refuses to release the footage, citing an ongoing investigation.
There was no indication that any criminal charges would be filed against Elmwood correctional staff.