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28 Mar, 2021 03:48

Protest outside Oklahoma jail after police shoot & kill inmate who took corrections officer hostage over poor conditions (VIDEO)

Protest outside Oklahoma jail after police shoot & kill inmate who took corrections officer hostage over poor conditions (VIDEO)

Tensions have been running high outside the Oklahoma County Jail after an inmate was shot and killed in a standoff with police inside. Police went in after the inmate took an unarmed staff member hostage during pill pass.

Protesters flocked to the jail on Saturday night, outraged at the way police handled the situation. Videos posted on social media show demonstrators shaking and banging on the facility’s gates and confronting employees leaving the center.

In one episode captured on video, an officer can be seen brandishing a firearm in front of the crowd of angry protesters. At one point, the officer points the gun at them, prompting some to put their hands up, while others continue to heckle the officers.

The impromptu protest was sparked by an incident inside the jail. Oklahoma City officers were called to respond to a hostage situation that unfolded on the 10th floor of the facility, where “the most difficult inmates are housed,” according to police.

The incident, which was partially livestreamed by the inmates themselves, began after an inmate overpowered a corrections officer as he came to his cell to give him medication, police said. The unruly inmate then subdued the officer, taking his radio and keys, which he used to release some of the other 37 inmates in the cellblock.

Videos apparently filmed by another prisoner show the corrections officer on his knees while the inmate holds some object to his neck. 

In the clip, the alleged hostage-taker complains of the conditions in the jail, claiming the inmates were denied showers and that the toilets were clogged.

Speaking to the media after the showdown, police said they tried to de-escalate the situation once they entered the building, but had to use lethal force, and shot the suspect, deeming the corrections officer to be in imminent danger. Oklahoma County Sheriff Tommie Johnson III told the media that gas was deployed to bring the inmates under control.

The corrections officer was taken to the hospital, but was able to leave the facility on his own.

When asked about the alleged dire conditions at the jail, Oklahoma County jail administrator Greg Williams neither confirmed nor denied the reports, saying the administration continues to work to improve the conditions.

“We manage those conditions continually... We have contractors that come in and help us resolve that. So that's a continual kind of a thing,” he said.

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