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Arizona prison guards use teargas, pepper-spray after inmate unrest

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Arizona prison guards use tear gas and pepper spray to put down an inmate unrest. (File photo)

Hundreds of inmates at an Arizona prison were involved in unrest that reportedly involved teargas and pepper spray being deployed against them.

America’s incarceration system is notorious for its poor conditions, gangs and violence but has been especially hard hit during the coronavirus pandemic as outbreaks of the virus have spread through many jails.

The incident happened at Eyman prison in Florence, Arizona and the institution remains on lockdown after the incident on Wednesday.

In a statement Judy Keane, director of communications at the Arizona Department of Corrections, said an investigation had been launched into the trouble.

“Several hundred inmates grouped together around staff and refused to disperse,” Keane said and added: “The Designated Armed Response Team and Tactical Support Unit responded to the incident and deployed non-lethal munitions to gain inmates’ compliance with instructions and secure the inmates inside their dorms.”

Local radio station KJZZ quoted an inmate as saying guards had used “teargas, flash bangs, pepper spray and started shooting them at everyone. It was basically a war zone.”

No injuries have been reported.

(Source: The Guardian)

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