Inmate says accusations are biased

Saturday, August 20th 2005, 8:18 pm
By: News On 6

CUSHING, Okla. (AP) _ An inmate accused of participating in a riot at the Cimarron Correctional Facility says he and 11 other men were singled out for charges because they're black.

Inmate Mark Ford says race played a role in the state's decision to press charges because not one white inmate has been charged.

Payne County District Attorney Rob Hudson says the 12 inmates were charged because a prison videotape proves they were the aggressors in the March 22nd riot.

He says the videotape shows about 40 black inmates attacking 15 to 20 defenseless white inmates with bats and horseshoes.

Ford says he participated in the riot for self-defense after a white inmate attacked him.

A white inmate, Adam Lippert, was killed in the riot. Lippert was reportedly a member of a white prison gang called the Universal Aryan Brotherhood.