A prison riot in Georgia that left three inmates and two prison guards injured had to be put down with rubber bullets, officials said.
The “disturbance caused by inmates” at Ware State Prison in Waycross, Georgia began on Saturday night and was brought under control at around 1 a.m. after guards deployed “non-lethal ammunition” on prisoners, the Georgia Department of Corrections said in a statement.
“A golf cart was set on fire and several windows were broken, but no major damage to the facility has been reported,” the statement said.
The agency said the cause of the incident “is unknown at this time.”
Social media videos purportedly inside the prison show inmates roaming the halls freely, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In one clip, two inmates assist another man who appears to be covered in blood, carrying him out of his cell, AJC said.
Another clip reported by WXIA-TV shows two apparently injured men tending to their wounds while several voices shouted “Black lives do matter” off-camera.
The violence comes amid reports of tensions at the prison over the spread of the coronavirus.
The virus has killed two inmates so far, and infected more than 50 other prisoners and staffers.
Tensions have further inflamed in recent weeks after an inmate died from an altercation with a fellow prisoner, Human and Civil Rights Coalition of Georgia spokesman Corey Jackson told Newsweek.
Ware State Prison houses 1,500 inmates, who are patrolled by shifts of 15 guards at a time, Jackson said.
“What led to this is Ware has an entire building with sick inmates,” he said.
“They have COVID-19 with little to no medical care. They had been on lockdown for weeks after a murder there about three weeks ago.”
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