Leaders of the guards union at a California state penitentiary hung a rat trap on a prison bulletin board after a captain accused three employees of using excessive force on an inmate, reports the Los Angeles Times. The trap was accompanied by a flier saying the union wanted to “catch” the captain and the prison’s acting warden to confront them about the allegations. Corrections officials say the trap – suggesting that the captain was “ratting” on colleagues – underscores the “code of silence” that has discouraged some officers from reporting misconduct. Last year, state Corrections Secretary Roderick Hickman declared “zero tolerance” for the code and warned that those who foster it could be fired.
The California Correctional Peace Officers Asssociation later removed the trap from its bulletin board at Calipatria State Prison in Imperial. Chapter President Chris Trott insisted that the display was “misinterpreted” and was not intended to perpetuate “any type of code of silence.”