Inmates start fires in response to prison’s COVID-19 response

Coronavirus New Mexico

FARMINGTON, N.M. (KRQE) –  Jail officials in San Juan County say a riot that broke out earlier Monday is now under control. Law enforcement agencies from around the region responded to help quell the violence which officials say resulted in property damage and one inmate injured.

Photo Courtesy of San Juan County. July 13, 2020.
Inmates start fires in response to prison’s COVID-19 response. Photo Courtesy of San Juan County. July 13, 2020.

Police say dozens of inmates barricaded themselves on the upper floor and made makeshift body armor out of books and magazines. They also threw shards from broken toilets.

Inmates broke a fire sprinkler and then lit a pile of blankets on fire on the floor. Two small fires were started but were quickly extinguished.

Authorities say inmates were protesting what they saw as poor communication about COVID-19 test results and a lack of hot meals.

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