COLONY – A special law enforcement team was called Friday to quell a riot among 12 inmates at the Albany County Jail who complained that they did not have enough linens and demanded that an officer corrections be removed from their level, Sheriff Craig Apple Sr. said.

The corrections emergency response team was called in after hours of discussion between the men and jail officers to try to defuse the riot to a peaceful resolution, Apple said. They reportedly attached doors that prevented personnel from entering and blocked the view of the area. They covered themselves in towels and shirts to conceal their identities, poured soap on the floors to make it difficult to get them, grabbed brooms and mops and beat officers with cups of urine, said Apple.

The response team arrived to deploy tear gas and pepper spray. The operation ended with two of the men in the emergency room, one needing stitches in his eye and the other complaining of jaw pain. Apple confirmed the injuries were the result of physical altercations, but said he was unsure what caused them.

“It was a depressing situation,” the sheriff said. “I think sometimes what happens with inmates is they retreat into a corner, and they’re scared if they cower, they’ll lose all respect inside the facility… but we have a prison that we must keep safe.”

Many men now face a combination of misdemeanor charges including inciting a riot, criminal possession of a weapon and obstructing government administration.

According to the sheriff’s department, those charged include Hassan Riddick, who was in jail for second-degree murder; Serieon Bankston, who pleaded not guilty to a murder charge in November, and Quintin Lacy, also originally charged with murder. Others were in jail on charges of robbery, petty larceny, possession of weapons and contempt. Three are hosted from federal cases.

Apple said the men were angry because a correctional officer wouldn’t allow their families to send them more linens, such as towels, sheets and clothes. The men wanted the correctional officer removed from their section, “and that’s not going to happen,” Apple said.

“You’re only allowed a certain amount of linens, clothes in your cells. They can be made (into) ropes…there’s a litany of different things that can happen,” Apple said. “This officer refused to give them extra sheets, and they weren’t happy with that.”

The men will be detained and, in the meantime, they are being held in a special accommodation unit separate from other people incarcerated in the prison.

“It’s a very chaotic situation when something like this happens; it hasn’t happened in years,” he said.


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