Chet and the Prisoners - 18
Karl was asking more about what our prisoners do. I told him that there is an indoor recreational space available for them to use all year long, where they can do recreational and athletic stuff.
He wanted to know more about the medical area. In our hospital section we have only five beds, and a space on the second floor where the guys come when they feel sick or have cut themselves. Sometimes it is the result of a fight, and although knives are not supposed to be available, there are lots of ingenious ways these guys have of making something sharp and dangerous.
Considering there are 50 beds for over 2000 people here, and 5 beds for 5000 at the Pen, you can see that the medical needs are more likely to be met here. At the Pen the preisoners get much less time from doctors who work part time on two days a week, although someone is always on call, and I can deal with minor emergencies on my own.
Here the men are not guilty of a crime, and therefore expected to feel uncomfortable. I think the authorities here do their best to deal with the men's problems as well as they can considering the limited budget and large numbers involved.
Interrogations commenced at 2:00 PM with the arrival of two camp immigration authorities to our quarters. We three Suzuki's are summoned to Bldg. No. 23. My father returned soon without much questioning. The questions put to me were simple and routine. I was released when the authorities learned that my family is interned at Santa Anita. Slightly after 3:00 PM, Henry Murakami arrived in the company of two INS men. Mr. Takehara was summoned, but he too soon returned.
Next Otosaburo Sumi was called, but he was manhandled and received very harsh treatment at the hands of the immigration authorities. He was asked detailed questions about his past, and to many which he replied with: "I don't recall." Through the interpreter, Mr. Sumi urged the speed up of his interrogation. The interpreter translated
Mr. Sumi's urgings as: "Come on." The comment angered the two authorities who immediately rose to their feet and struck Mr. Sumi in the face. The interpreters also joined in the fracas and struck Mr. Sumi. The result to Mr. Sumi was the loss of two front, upper teeth. Mr. Sumi placed his two dislodged teeth into his pocket, but the immigration men grabbed the two teeth and flushed these down the toilet. The maltreatment of Mr. Sumi created a wave of anger, and immediately, discussions were held to formulate plans for coping with these INS interrogations. The solution, it was decided, is straightforward replies with honesty during these questioning periods.
Mr. Robinson (Camp Director), three guards, one secretary and Mr. Murakami came to our quarters at 10:00 AM to investigate the Sumi case. Messrs. Robinson and McCoy urged Mr. Sumi to consult the camp doctor for treatment. This Sumi incident caused a stir in camp. I forego the news tonight and take in a movie “Castle in the Desert.”.
At 9:20 AM, I reported to the INS Office in response to a notice received. However, that office is empty. I proceeded to Mr. Robinson's office to inquire, and there, I was informed that it is not necessary to report unless officially summoned. Messres. Tanishita and Otomatsu show off some of their magic tricks.
I started a letter, but gave it up. It is now raining. Our camp leader, Mr. Shibata, called us together for a discussion of general camp matters, and to outline procedures and attitudes toward interrogations. Mr. Takahashi treated me to some of his delicacies. I sent off a letter to Santa Anita.