Videos live streamed from inside a coronavirus-invested prison over the weekend depict a fiery uprising with inmates taking a guard hostage before stabbing him as well as a pair on bleeding inmates shot by guards being treated by other inmates.
However, a press release from the prison downplayed the violence by referring to it as a “disturbance caused by inmates” that was brought under control is just over two hours with the use of “non lethal ammunition.”
The fracas broke out Saturday night at 10:45 p.m. at Ware State Prison in Waycross after rising tensions following the July 17 killing of inmate Robert Wilson by another inmate.
Adding to the tensions is COVID-19, which has already killed two inmates and affected another 22 inmates as well as 32 prison staff members, all who tested positive for the disease, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
During the riot, a golf cart was set on fire and several windows ended smashed and broken, according to Fox News. It appears that officers attempted to use flash bangs to control the riot.
In one of the videos, prisoners can be seen leading a prison guard around with his hands behind his back handcuffed. Fires and a flash bang can be seen in the background. Forty-five seconds into the video, an inmate can be heard claiming that the prisoners stabbed the guard.
Numerous videos show bloodied and injured prisoners that were shot in the side, forehead, leg and chin, being aided by other prisoners. It appears they were shot with real bullets but it is also possible they were shot with the “non lethal” bullets.
The Georgia Department of Corrections released the following statement:
“THE GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS (GDC) IS INVESTIGATING A DISTURBANCE CAUSED BY INMATES AT WARE STATE PRISON IN WAYCROSS, GA., WHICH OCCURRED AT APPROXIMATELY 10:45 P.M., AUGUST 1. THE CAUSE OF THE DISTURBANCE IS UNKNOWN AT THIS TIME. TWO STAFF MEMBERS RECEIVED MINOR NON LIFE-THREATENING INJURIES, AND THREE INMATES RECEIVED NON LIFE-THREATENING INJURIES DURING THE INCIDENT. A GOLF CART WAS SET ON FIRE AND SEVERAL WINDOWS WERE BROKEN, BUT NO MAJOR DAMAGE TO THE FACILITY HAS BEEN REPORTED. OFFICERS DEPLOYED NON-LETHAL AMMUNITION, AND THE INCIDENT WAS BROUGHT UNDER CONTROL. THE FACILITY WAS LOCKED DOWN AT APPROXIMATELY 1:00 A.M., AUGUST 2. AT NO TIME WAS PUBLIC SAFETY AT RISK.”
The riot ended with two guards suffering stab wounds along with three prisoners suffering wounds from being shot by prison guards.
According to Newsweek:
“COREY JACKSON, A SPOKESPERSON FOR THE HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS COALITION OF GEORGIA, TOLD NEWSWEEK THAT THE PRISON HAD BEEN UNDER LOCKDOWN AFTER THE DEATH OF AN INMATE TWO WEEKS AGO.”
There were a total of four deaths within Georgia prisons last month labeled homicides.
There are around 15 officers per shift and the prison can hold around 1,500 inmates, Jackson told Newsweek.
The Georgia State Patrol, Ware County Sheriff’s Office and Waycross Police Department were dispatched to control the riot.
Watch the longer video below or several short videos here.