Sheriff Tyrone Lewis Gives HCCF Update
Sheriff Tyrone Lewis gives the media an update on the disturbance at the Hinds County Correctional Facility Monday afternoon.
RAYMOND, Miss.— The Hinds County Sheriff's Department, with the help of several other law enforcement agencies, has secured most of the Hinds County Correctional Facility.
Inmates created a disturbance in Pod C at HCCF around 2:30 a.m, Sheriff Tyrone Lewis said. He said one inmate, Kendall Johnson started the disturbance by flooding the Pod with a fire hose and letting other inmates out of their cells.
Each Pod is made up of four housing units. Lewis told the media around 2 p.m. that officers had entered the jail at 12:27 p.m. and had secured two of the four units in Pod C. There was no resistance from inmates in either housing unit, Lewis said.
"We have what we call several different S.W.A.T. teams in place. They have tactical experience and they were able to use their tactical experience and training to get in without harming themselves or harming anyone else," Lewis said.
Lewis said there have been no injuries. One detention officer was taken to the hospital for precautionary measures, but Lewis said she did not sustain any injuries.
Though officers were in the building, the disturbance was not over, Lewis said. Officers were continuing to clear the Pod, one housing unit at a time.
About 183 inmates populated the pod and quickly flooded and took at least one housing unit over.
The jail is on lockdown, and officers from several jurisdictions are on the scene, including Hinds County Sheriff Department, Clinton Police, Raymond Police, Rankin County Sheriff Department and the state Highway Patrol.
Johnson's family has been outside the facility since this morning. His mother, Delores Walker, said Johnson said jailers at the facility beat him.
Walker said no one from the Sheriff's Department has spoken to her or any of the family members of inmates since the disturbance began.
"We need to know the names of the officers who beat my son," Walker said.
Walker said Johnson was in the facility on charges of possession of marijuana and violating probation.
Lewis said their were enough guards in the Pod. He said he did not know of any guards beating any prisoners or of any sub-par conditions in the complex. He said he wants to issue a fair investigation into the causes of the disturbance.
Lewis said officers are currently taking a head count of inmates and checking their health. He said because of the flooding and other possible damage, inmates would have to be moved to other holding locations. He said his office is looking into moving inmates to Madison and Rankin counties.
Community activist David Archie was speaking for Johnson's family at the scene. He said Johnson was refusing to surrender to anyone but Hinds County Supervisor Kenneth Stokes or Gov. Phil Bryant.
Stokes arrived on the scene, and Hinds County deputies let him past their checkpoint at the corner of County Farm Road and Highway 18 around 12:45 p.m.
Deputies have only allowed law enforcement and government officials past the checkpoint.
The disturbance is the latest in a string of uprisings at prisons and correctional facilities across the state in recent months.
A video of Lewis' media conference is coming soon.