Seven die in night of ri­ot­ing at US prison

Yorkshire Post - - UK & ABROAD -

IN­MATES ARMED with home­made knives fought each other for about seven hours over ter­ri­tory and money, leav­ing seven dead in the worst US prison riot in quar­ter of a cen­tury.

An in­mate who wit­nessed the vi­o­lence said bod­ies were “lit­er­ally stacked on top of each other”.

At least 17 pris­on­ers were se­ri­ously in­jured at Lee Cor­rec­tional In­sti­tu­tion, South Carolina pris­ons chief Bryan Stir­ling said.

The first fight started in a dorm at about 7.15pm on Sun­day and ap­peared to be con­tained be­fore sud­denly start­ing in two other dorms.

Mo­bile phones helped stir up the trou­ble, and state of­fi­cials urged the fed­eral govern­ment to change a law and al­low them to block the sig­nals from pris­on­ers’ phones.

“Th­ese folks are fight­ing over real money and real ter­ri­tory while they’re in­car­cer­ated,” Mr Stir­ling said at a news con­fer­ence.

No prison guards were hurt. Mr Stir­ling said they fol­lowed pro­to­col by back­ing out and ask­ing for sup­port. It took sev­eral hours to re­store or­der, but once a spe­cial Swat team en­tered, the in­mates gave up peace­fully, he said.

A pris­oner who saw the riot said he saw sev­eral at­tack­ers taunt a ri­val gang mem­ber who was badly in­jured.

“I just saw three dead on the side­walk out­side of my unit. One guy is still alive and breath­ing, but just barely,” the in­mate said.

The riot was the lat­est vi­o­lence in the South Carolina pris­ons sys­tem, where at least 13 other in­mates have been killed by fel­low pris­on­ers since the start of 2017.

It was the most in­mates killed in a sin­gle riot in the US since nine pris­on­ers and a guard died in 1993 at South­ern Ohio Cor­rec­tional Fa­cil­ity.

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