Sheriff's Office Releases Video of Inmates Lighting Jumpsuits on Fire

Authorities released video footage on Monday of an incident that injured four correctional officers at the Cook County Jail over the weekend.

The officers were hospitalized Saturday night after a group of inmates attempted to light their jumpsuits on fire, according to the Cook County Sheriff's office. 

The incident occurred in Division 9, the jail's super maximum security division, authorities said, in a tier designated for "problematic detainees who engage in sexual misconduct."

The detainees in that division are given specially designed jumpsuits, authorities said, which they attempted to destroy by using a microwave to ignite a wick and light the uniforms on fire.

The first video, which has a timestamp beginning around 9:38 p.m., shows a shirtless inmate enter the frame from the right around 24 seconds in, carrying what appears to be a flaming object in his left hand. Another detainee pushes a uniform on the ground in his direction, at which point he sets the object on top of the cloth. 

Smoke begins to billow through the area as two other inmates toss jumpsuits to the ground from the second tier of cells. As smoke begins to cloud the camera lens, detainees at least twice more add cloth to pile and the flames continue to grow. 

One inmate flings himself on top of a table, while another remains perched on an exit sign above a door for the duration of the video. Yet another man lies on the ground in front of the fire, which appears to abruptly go out around three minutes into the footage. 

Seconds later, an inmate runs toward the detainee on the ground and drags him away from the area where the fire began. [[419655623, C]]

The second video begins at 9:45 p.m. in what looks like a recreational area with two basketball hoops. Smoke billows into the room as officers with flashlights peer through a door seemingly adjacent to the area in which the fire began.

Around a minute into the footage, two officers enter the room with a shirtless detainee restrained, forcing him facedown onto the ground before handcuffing him. 

At least six more inmates rush into the room, several collapsing on the ground with their hands up as dozens of correctional officers flood the area from a separate door, some handcuffing the inmates while the majority appear to enter the room in which the fire began. 

Officers can be seen bringing at least seven more restrained inmates into the room, detaining several of the men against a fence-like wall on the right while others are escorted away. 

During the incident, two officers were taken to an area hospital for evaluation related to smoke exposure, officials said, while two others were hospitalized for injuries they sustained while securing the tier.

All injuries were non-life-threatening, the sheriff's office said, and all four officers were released from the hospital by Sunday morning. 

"This incident is the latest reminder of the exceptionally difficult job performed each and every day by the men and women of the Cook County Sheriff's Office," the statement ends. 

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