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Inmates stage uprising at St. Louis jail dogged by unrest

Inmates, from a second cell block, cough and try to breath through broken windows after officers deploy a chemical irritant at the St. Louis Justice Center, known as the city jail, on Sunday, April 4, 2021. Inmates broke windows, set a fire and threw debris to the ground late Sunday at a St. Louis jail that has been plagued by uprisings in recent months. (Colter Peterson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Inmates broke windows, set a fire and threw debris to the ground late Sunday at a St. Louis jail that has been plagued by uprisings in recent months.

The riot broke out Sunday night around 9 p.m. at the City Justice Center, news outlets reported. Inmates were seen tossing objects out of broken windows and setting a fire. Firefighters used a hose to douse the flames.

Law enforcement responded to bring the jail under control. Inmates had moved away from the broken windows by about 10:30 p.m., according to news outlets. Then around 11 p.m., inmates broke windows on the other side of the jail and began throwing objects again. Thirty minutes later, the inmates had disappeared again and officers could be seen inside.

It was unclear whether anyone was injured.

Some inmates were heard yelling demands for court dates. Proceedings have been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

An uprising at the jail on Feb. 6 involved over 100 inmates and sent one corrections officer to the hospital. Officials said detainees were upset about conditions inside the jail and had concerns about COVID-19.

There have been at least four uprisings at the jail since December.

A task force was appointed to look into issues at the jail. Its chairman, the Rev. Darryl Gray, issued a report last month urging the city to create an independent oversight board to help oversee the lockup.