St. Louis inmates set fires, shatter windows, and take over part of jail

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Inmates took over part of a St. Louis jail on Saturday.

Several prisoners allegedly attacked a guard on the fourth floor of the City Justice Center around 2:30 a.m., authorities told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

That incident apparently initiated a rebellion among the inmates, with 115 detainees reportedly setting fires, clogging toilets, and flooding the floor, according to the mayor’s office. At 6:30 a.m., prisoners were seen gathered at a shattered window, throwing chairs and debris to the sidewalk below.

In pictures of the incident, some inmates are seen holding signs. One read, “Free Wightwight,” and another read, “Free 57.” It is unclear what the signs were referring to.

Jacob Long, a spokesman for Mayor Lyda Krewson, called the scene a “very dangerous disturbance.” The inmates were “back in custody” shortly before 10 a.m., and 65 prisoners are set to be transferred to the Medium Security Institution, also known as the Workhouse, the mayor’s office said.

Jimmie Edwards, the director of the city’s Department of Public Safety, said the corrections officer injured in the incident was taken to the hospital but is doing well.

This is at least the third disturbance at the prison in recent weeks, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. In those incidents, the inmates reportedly complained of unsafe conditions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The facility has had an issue with its locks, a weakness that the prisoners were able to exploit, Edwards added. The city said it is working to resolve the problem.

Source : St. Louis inmates set fires, shatter windows, and take over part of jail