Nov 23, 2021 - News
Guards tout white supremacy in Florida's prisons
Tomoka Correctional Institution in Daytona Beach.
Tomoka Correctional Institution in Daytona Beach. Photo: Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Florida’s prisons are riddled with white supremacist guards who inflict violence on Black inmates, often with impunity, per the Associated Press.

Driving the news: Three current and former Florida guards who were Ku Klux Klan members were convicted of planning the murder of a Black former inmate.

Yes, but: A Florida prisons spokesperson insisted there was no indication of a wider problem of white supremacists working in the prisons, so the state would not investigate further.

But, but, but: AP reporter Jason Dearen then visited the employee parking lot of a north Florida prison and photographed cars and trucks adorned with symbols and stickers associated with white supremacy.

  • Dearen also found other evidence of institutional acceptance of open racism.
  • Whistleblowers against racism are ostracized and labeled a "snitch." One guard allowed a white supremacist inmate group to hold an open meeting.
  • In September, a 25-year-old Black inmate reported being beaten by a white officer who said, "You're lucky I didn't have my spray on me, cuz I would gas yo Black ass." The inmate's lip was split open and his face swollen, per the AP.

What they're saying: "It's partly due to our political climate. But, those who work in our prisons don't seem to fear people knowing that they’re white supremacists," Democratic Florida state Rep. Dianne Hart told the AP.

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