Detainees throw chairs from the third floor at the St. Louis Justice Center in St. Louis, Mo., on Sunday. About 60 inmates escaped from their cells to break windows, yell to people on the streets and set small fires. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
April 5 (UPI) -- Dozens of inmates rioted at a jail in St. Louis on Sunday night, breaking windows and setting fires in the second uprising at the facility in the last few months.
Authorities said about 60 prisoners were involved in the riot at the St. Louis Justice Center, during which they shattered windows on the third floor, threw furniture, set fires and shouted demands.
The disturbance lasted for several hours. The jail houses more than 900 inmates.
Some of the inmates demanded court dates and trials. Many St. Louis court hearings have been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dozens of people subsequently gathered outside the jail to support the detainees, some of whom claimed "inhumane" conditions. The rioting inmates eventually returned to their cells.
Sunday's uprising came less than two months after a similar demonstration in February, when more than 100 inmates took over the fourth floor of the same jail, set fires and caused flooding.
"Here we are, less than a month since the last uprising and there have been no changes to right these significant wrongs," Missouri State Rep. Rasheen Aldridge tweeted.
"I look forward to working with the next administration to address the concerns of the detainees and to make the facility safe for all who are in it."
Aldridge said cash bail and a return to speedy court hearings would help avert similar protests.
"The detainees are being held without trial and unable to pay their bail, causing a system that disproportionately put poor and black people behind bars," he added. "If we care about justice, these systems need to change."