More than 100 inmates have taken over a portion of the city justice center in the city of St. Louis, and officials say a correctional officer was injured at the scene.
The incident began at 2:30 a.m. Saturday in one of the fourth-floor units, where a “very upset” man got into a fight with a negative “prisoner” correctional officer, Director of Public Safety Jimmy Edwards told a news conference.
The officer then jumped by the other inmates in the unit.
During the fight, Edwards says several prisoners were able to “jimmy” the locks on their cells, open them and enter the unit.
When prison staff tried to escort the correctional officer to safety, the inmates approached a lock group system and “other inmates were released from their cells into the unit.”
Edwards said the unit had been breached and that prisoners had been able to get into a hallway. The second unit on the ground “began to hold negative prisoners,” he said.
“Those prisoners were very aggressive, very violent. They were also able to free themselves from their cells because those locks were broken. They were also able to break their section,” he told reporters.
There were 117 prisoners in the incident.
According to the NBC affiliate K.S.D.K., The inmates threw objects from the broken windows and started a small fire inside the jail.
Chairs and other items were scattered across the street, with the store reporting that at least one car had a deformed windshield. Several prisoners could be seen holding signs and chanting.
Edwards told reporters that none of them had access to other sites. At 10 a.m., the situation was after the sheriff’s representatives and police assisted.
Authorities have not identified the injured correctional officer, but he is in hospital and is expected to recover.
This is the third hurdle in the facility, which Edwards told prisoners “with the most serious crimes.”
In late December and early January, The prison was devastated Prisoners worry about unsafe conditions amid corona virus infection.
Edwards said the inmates involved in Saturday’s incident had not made any demands. He said there were no Govt-19 cases in the facility.
“It was a crowd,” he said. “It was a mob. They decided they were going to be involved in a criminal mess. That’s what they did. They should be held accountable for what they did.”
Fifty-five inmates were transferred to the separation unit at the prison. Of the “some of the most violent offenders,” 65 were taken to the Medium Defense Agency, which is safer than the city justice center, Edwards said.
The damage from Saturday’s acquisition is only a compatibility unit. Edwards said he hopes others will be available in the next two weeks.
The director of public security acknowledged that the prison was understaffed, and the issue of cell locks has been trying to fix the facility since December.