Over 100 prisoners rioted Wednesday night in response to confirmed COVID-19 cases at the Monroe Correctional Complex in Washington state.
The demonstration included prisoners threatening to start fires and hold officers hostage, according to police statements made to Q13 Fox.
“All measures to bring individuals into compliance were ignored including verbal directives, pepper (OC) spray and sting balls, which release light, noise, and rubber pellet,” the Washington State Department of Corrections said in a press release.
Washington State Police collaborated with Monroe Police and the Department of Corrections to diffuse the incident. No injuries were reported, and the situation was under control around nine 9 p.m. PST, Q13 Fox reported.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee released a statement Thursday afternoon.
I recognize the concerns of incarcerated individuals and their families about COVID-19 & am grateful last night’s disturbance ended without injury.
We’re committed to the health, safety and security of incarcerated people & DOC employees.
My statement: https://t.co/Pf7rsWG17h
— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) April 9, 2020
Officials believe the incident was in response to six positive COVID-19 results in the Minimum-Security Unit. Two men who tested positive Tuesday, were housed in the same complex as 111 other men. The men were relocated to an isolation unit on April 5 and tested on-site.
There are around 17 other prisoners in the isolation unit while the 111 other men are in quarantine as a “preventative measure,” the press release said. As of Wednesday, there were no reports of additional inmates exhibiting symptoms and a total of five staff members were confirmed positive.
The Monroe Correctional Complex houses 450 minimum custody male inmates.
Across Washington State correctional facilities 221 tests have been completed with 161 negative results, six positive results and 54 pending as of Wednesday. There are a total of 148 incarcerated individuals in isolation and 1,311 individuals in quarantine, according to the Washington State Department of Corrections.
The Monroe Police Department, Monroe Correctional Complex and the Washington State Department of Corrections did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.