Report: Prison Guards, Police Warned About ‘Black August’ Attacks

August 4, 2016 Updated: August 4, 2016

A bulletin has been sent to law enforcement outlets across the United States, warning of a threat of attacks against police officers and prison guards.

The bulletin was obtained by a reporter with San Francisco-based KGO-TV, and it details so-called “Black August” attacks against police. The bulletin—from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Sacramento Intelligence Unit, and the FBI’s National Gang Intelligence Center—warns there will be an increase in violence against officers and prison guards in the month of August.

“Black August” was started by prison gang Black Guerilla Family, or BGF, in the 1970s to honor slain members, the report notes. 

The same bulletin was viewed by a reporter at CBS Los Angeles.

Daniel Vasquez, a former warden at San Quentin State Prison, believes the warning is credible.

“It’s a wake-up call, sometimes officers can become complacent,” Vasquez told CBS. “Not only police officers but officers in prison, they can become complacent.”

National law enforcement agencies are now on high alert.

The bulletin claims the Black Guerrilla Family is seeking revenge for its member Hugo Pinell, who was killed during the California State Prison-Sacramento riot in 2015. Pinell had served several decades in solitary confinement for killing a prison guard and slashing the throats of two prison guards during an escape attempt in 1971. He was stabbed 12 days after corrections released him.

The bulletin says the Black Guerrilla Family believes state prisons worked with Aryan Brotherhood gang members to kill Pinell.

The bulletin warns that the gang is “going to kill correctional officers and Aryan Brotherhood gang members to send a firm message. And the attacks will occur across the country, not just in California, and will likely occur during the BGF’s memorial celebration of Black August.”

The bulletin also includes a drawing from a gang member, showing a gorilla eating a pig.

A retired special agent, Rick Smith, told KGO that “I think it’s serious. They put that bulletin out, they don’t want to be caught with something happening with the information they have and not disseminating it.”

The FBI and the Bureau of Prisons declined to comment in the KGO report.

The Black Guerrilla Family was started in 1966 by two inmates in at San Quentin State Prison in Northern California during the Black Power movement. According to book “The Rise and Fall of California’s Radical Prison Movement,” written by Eric Cummins and published in 1994, the BGF “was a Marxist-Leninist prison gang” focused on overthrowing the U.S. government.