Police in Riot Gear Break Up Workhouse Jail Protest in St. Louis

Nearly 200 protesters gathered at the Workhouse Jail in North St. Louis City on Friday, July 21, in response to the high temperatures and the jail having no air conditioning.  The Medium Security Institution has faced allegations of abuse in the past, including once in 2012 for having “gladiator-style” fights that inmates were forced by staff to participate in.

Protesters shouted “Shut it down” while the inmates yelled for help to the group. At one point the outer security fence was lifted at the bottom by protesters pushing it in, and one protester climbed onto the next fence before police moved in. None of the protesters were arrested at that point. A couple hours into the protest, police in riot gear came out while an unlawful gathering was declared. Soon after police used riot shields and pepper spray to disperse the crowd off of the prison property where one arrest was made.

Protesters march from Hall Street to the Medium Security Institution also know as the Workhouse Jail in St. Louis on July 21, 2017.

Protesters hold signs and begin demonstrating against the Medium Security Institution also know as the Workhouse Jail in St. Louis on July 21, 2017.

Protesters hold signs and begin demonstrating against the Medium Security Institution also know as the Workhouse Jail in St. Louis on July 21, 2017.

Protesters chant to prisoners and the prisoners chant back outside of the Workhouse Jail in St. Louis on July 21, 2017.

Prisoners chant and wave shirts out of their windows during the protest at the Workhouse Jail in St. Louis on July 21, 2017.

Prisoners pull a sheet between two windows that says help during a protest of the conditions of the Workhouse Jail in St. Louis on July 21, 2017.

A prisoner holds a Division of Corrections shirt out of a window of the Workhouse Jail during a protest of the conditions there in St. Louis on July 21, 2017.

Protesters push on the outer security fence of the Workhouse Jail during a demonstration against the living conditions inside in St. Louis on July 21, 2017.

Protesters push on the outer security fence of the Workhouse Jail during a demonstration against the living conditions inside in St. Louis on July 21, 2017.

Protesters push on the outer security fence of the Workhouse Jail during a demonstration against the living conditions inside in St. Louis on July 21, 2017.

Protesters push the outer security fence of the Workhouse Jail far enough for people to crawl under it during a demonstration against the living conditions there in St. Louis on July 21, 2017.

Protesters who crawled under the first security fence climb onto the next one during a demonstration against the living conditions at the Workhouse Jail in St. Louis on July 21, 2017.

Police quickly move in to separate the crowd of protesters from the fence after a few of them crawled under it during a demonstration against the living conditions at the Workhouse Jail in St. Louis on July 21, 2017.

A protester holds a sign that says “We Treat Animals Better” outside the Workhouse Jail in St. Louis on July 21, 2017.

A protester lights a flare while members of the group Justice for Isaiah Hammett stands near him at the Workhouse Jail in St. Louis on July 21, 2017. Isaiah Hamment was killed by police in South St. Louis city on June 7, 2017.

As the protest goes into the night a demonstrator waves at inmates outside the Workhouse Jail in St. Louis on July 21, 2017.

A protester livestreams a discussion he is having with a St. Louis Police Officer outside the Workhouse Jail on July 21, 2017.

After the protests went on for more than two hours, police come out in riot gear and call the demonstration an unlawful gathering. They give a ten-minute warning to protesters to disperse at the Workhouse Jail in St. Louis on July 21, 2017.

After pushing protesters with riot shields, the police use mace to move the crowd off of the Workhouse Jail property. Protesters help others who have been sprayed by pouring water and milk into their eyes in St. Louis on July 21, 2017.

After pushing protesters with riot shields, the police use mace to move the crowd off of the Workhouse Jail property. Protesters help others who have been sprayed by pouring water and milk into their eyes in St. Louis on July 21, 2017.

After pushing protesters with riot shields, the police use mace to move the crowd off of the Workhouse Jail property. Protesters help others who have been sprayed by pouring water and milk into their eyes in St. Louis on July 21, 2017.

Police push the group of protesters at the Workhouse Jail to Hall Street while telling everyone to leave the area in St. Louis on July 21, 2017.

A man in a bulletproof vest argues with a protester in the middle of Hall Street after police push demonstrators off of the Workhouse Jail property in St. Louis on July 21, 2017.

Police stand near the shoulder of Hall Street as they wait for protesters to leave the area around the Workhouse Jail in St. Louis on July 21, 2017.

 

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