KEY POINTS

  • Inmates at the St. Louis Justice Center staged an uprising
  • They broke windows and threw random objects down the sidewalk
  • Some of them chanted, "We want court dates!"
  • They also held a cloth banner saying, "Help us!"

Inmates at the St. Louis Justice Center broke out of their cells on Sunday so they could break windows, start fires, throw random stuff down the sidewalk and chant for people outside to hear.

As part of their uprising, some of them broke the windows at the third floor's northwestern corner, which was right below where windows had boards put up after a previous riot had taken place in February.

Things thrown down the ground included furniture, clothing, toilet paper and a computer, reported The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. While all this was taking place, some of the inmates started a fire on the building's exterior.

Meanwhile, a few of the inmates began chanting. "We want court dates!" they said, referring to delays the COVID-19 pandemic has caused their court appearances and trials.

Based on a photograph making rounds on social media, they also held a sign made of cloth with the words, "Help us!" written on it.

The inmates were also protesting the alleged inhumane conditions inside the jail. More than 50 people showed up on the sidewalk below to show support for the inmates' cause.

Around two hours before midnight, the inmates were gone from the window. The sheriff's deputies, who were wearing riot gear, appeared a short while after the inmates had gone out of sight.

A perimeter that the police had set up was extended up to a block away to prevent more people from watching what was happening. From a distance, the police watched as the crowd gathered by the jail.

An hour before midnight, windows on the third floor's southwestern corner were broken. This caused the people below to cheer, a report from the New York Post said. Some inmates then threw more objects down the sidewalk.

When they appeared the second time, the inmates seemed to be coughing because of mace.

A half-hour after the inmates' second appearance, they were disappeared once again. Deputies wearing riot gear reappeared afterward.

How exactly the uprising began remains unclear.

After the riot that happened in February, officials have acknowledged that cell door locks have been faulty. According to the Post-Dispatch, inmates knew about the cell door locks having problems, but inmates rarely took advantage of the situation.

This uprising comes only a month after an inmate attacked numerous people, including staff members and other inmates, in the infirmary of Anamosa State Penitentiary in Iowa. The attack led to the death of a correctional officer and a nurse.

prison cellblock 111 A cell block at the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Oklahoma, is pictured. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images