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Video of alleged officer-organized Oklahoma inmate fight surfaces

An attorney has shared with The Oklahoman a video he says depicts a fight between offenders in a private halfway house that was organized by corrections officers.
by Graham Lee Brewer Modified: January 16, 2014 at 8:52 pm •  Published: January 17, 2014

— A grainy video shows two shirtless men surrounded by bunks and several male onlookers in an apparent fight circle. The shirtless men touch hands, raise their fists and start taking swings at each other.

Attorney Louis Bullock said the cellphone video depicts an officer-organized fight at a halfway house the state Corrections Department is in the process of shutting down.

In the video, another man holds what appears to be cash and tells one of the fighters that if he wins he will get paid.

Amid encouragement from those watching, the two shirtless men throw wild punches. One man unsuccessfully attempts to body slam the other before the pair wrestle into a bunk and then the ground. The man on top lands several blows to the other man's head and kicks him once with a booted foot before other offenders pull them apart.

The fight takes place at the Avalon Correctional Center in Tulsa, operated by Oklahoma-based Avalon Corrections Services Inc., and is at the heart of an ongoing investigation by the state Corrections Department's internal affairs division, Bullock said.

>>READ: Safety concerns prompt Oklahoma corrections officials to order removal of inmates from private center

>>READ: Oklahoma Corrections Department investigates reports of fight at halfway house

>>READ: DOC letter to Brian Costello

It is not clear when the fight occurred.

The attorney said he has been speaking to several offenders from the facility who he says were coerced, or in some cases forced, into fights. Bullock said he plans to pursue a civil rights lawsuit against Avalon.

He said he has been told by multiple parties, including one of the offenders depicted in the video, that two officers at the facility were not only present during the fight, but they condoned it.

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by Graham Lee Brewer
General Assignment/Breaking News Reporter
Graham Lee Brewer began his career as a journalist covering Oklahoma's vibrant music scene in 2006. After working as a public radio reporter for KGOU and then Oklahoma Watch, where he covered areas such as immigration and drug addiction, he went...
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