Lots of questions are being asked following a prison fight which broke out at the Evans Correctional Institution in Bennettsville, South Carolina. Loved ones want to know why authorities used tear gas.
And the questions are being answered too.
A video of the incident reportedly showed correctional officers using tear gas to disperse the inmates during the fight.
Families of inmates want to know why tear gas was used in such significant quantity on their incarcerated loved ones.
The families of the prison inmates brought their grievances to ABC15 News for public attention. They showed video of the prison violence.
These prison loved ones also demanded to know why 28 canisters of tear gas were used to break up the fight.
Video Reportedly Shows 28 Canisters of Tear Gas Deployed on Prison Inmates
One of the complainants, a woman, fumed:
“I mean, 28 canisters. To see that smoke in that room and how thick it was, I just can’t imagine how bad it was.
I just feel like 28 cans was overkill. Did you really need to use that many to get the situation under control?”
The aggrieved complainants would not want their names in print to safeguard the security of their incarcerated loved ones.
They complained that the video revealed the excess use of tear gas. Adding inmates affected by the tear gas were not even treated to help them recover from the effect. They complained bitterly:
“There was people that couldn’t breathe.
People fighting to get out because there was no air for them to breathe.”
ABC15 demanded to know the source of the video since inmates are not supposed to own cell phones inside prison facilities. But the families could not say how exactly they came about the video, saying someone from the inside must have shot it.
SCDC Says It Was Okay To Use Tear Gas as a Crowd Dispersal Agent
When contacted, Jeffrey M. Talion, of the South Carolina Department of Corrections (SCDC), addressed many of the concerns raised from the video.
[amazon_link asins=’178478026X’ template=’ProductAd’ store=’prisonrideshare.org-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’82a8a23d-ca85-11e7-8679-efa376b1d8bc’] Talion clarified that correctional officers were forced to deploy tear gas because inmates flatly refused to return to their cells. He said prison authorities were only able to secure the housing unit with the help of tear gas.
It was also said they are allowed to use tear gas as a crowd control device when necessary to do so.
Talion responded to the query that inmates affected by the tear gas were not treated to ensure they were okay. He said prison officials could and would only provide medical attention under such circumstance when it was necessary and safe to do so.
On why inmates were only fed their meals at six in the morning and then eight in the evening, Talion said:
“The meal schedule resumed as soon as it was safe to do so.”
Two prison employees who responded to the fight were injured during the incident. Reports have it that 45 incidents have occurred at Evans Correctional Institution over the last three years.
Prison staff and correctional officers have been hurt in these incidents after being attacked by inmates.