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Swastika Carved on CDC Prison Guard Rifle

In January of 1997 authorities at California's Folsom State Prison launched an investigation to find out who carved a swastika and a "white power" insignia into the stock of a staff rifle.

Sgt. Jim Cook, president of the Folsom chapter of the CA prison guard's union (CCPOA) speculated that somebody from a group of six to eight guards who he said belong to a local militia group may be responsible for the carvings. About 500 guards work at the prison.

Cook and another guard filed suit against the Department of Corrections in 1994, charging that they had been subjected to racial harassment and discrimination. The suit was dismissed in the state's favor in a summary judgment just weeks before the racist carving was discovered on the rifle butt.

Cook, apparently in response to a reporter's question, didn't discount the possibility that the messages on the rifle may have been the work of African American guards trying to gain sympathy for themselves at the expense of white guards.

Cook went on to say that if of any guards were charged by the administration in the incident, 'I will give them the best representation that I can possibly offer. Even if they hate me."

Sacramento Bee

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