Inmates break windows, set fires in uprising at St. Louis jail

A riot broke out at a St. Louis jail late Sunday with inmates breaking windows, setting a fire and throwing debris onto the ground below.

It was the third uprising in less than four months at the downtown St. Louis City Justice Center, according to FOX 2 in St. Louis.

The riot was reported at about 9 p.m. involving at least 60 inmates who escaped from their cells. Video posted online showed inmates tossing objects out of broken windows and setting a fire. Firefighters used a hose to douse the flames.

Inmates could be heard calling out to onlookers on the street below. Some yelled demands for court dates, as proceedings have been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Inmates are seen standing in broken windows at the St. Louis City Justice Center on April 4, 2021 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Credit: Denis Beganovic via Storyful)

Law enforcement responded to bring the jail under control. Inmates had moved away from the broken windows by about 10:15 p.m., the local station reported. Another fire started shortly after on the second floor but was put out by fire crews.

It was unclear whether anyone was injured. There weren’t any confirmed weapons, according to FOX 2.

An uprising at the jail on Feb. 6 involved about 120 inmates and sent one corrections officer to the hospital. Officials said detainees were upset about conditions inside the jail and had concerns about COVID-19, in addition to the delay of court proceedings.

There have been at least four uprisings at the jail since December, and a task force was appointed to look into issues at the jail. Its chairman, the Rev. Darryl Gray, issued a report last month urging the city to create an independent oversight board to help oversee the lockup.

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This story was reported from Cincinnati. The Associated Press contributed.