We’ve just gotten word that something bad is happening at the King County Jail at 5th and Jefferson. Police are locking down the area surrounding the jail.
More info soon.
Update: Armed SWAT units are entering the jail.
Update x2: We’ve just confirmed with the King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention that there has been an “inmate disturbance” at the King County Jail in downtown Seattle.
Update x3: The incident took place on the 10th floor of the facility around 2:00pm.
I have a vague recollection that inmates being held on murder charges are housed on the 10th floor, but I’ve gotta confirm that.
Tactical units are clearing the building and we just heard over the scanner that “the threat of deadly force is working.”
Update x4 (3:03pm) We just spoke with King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention spokesman, Major William Hayes, who told us that the disturbance is “under control,” but every floor of the facility is on lockdown.
Update x5: Maj. Hayes says that higher-risk inmates are kept on the upper levels of the jail’s 11 floors. Hayes would not go in to detail about the inmates held on the 10th floor, but said “There’s a reason they’re up that high.”
Update x6 (3:16) Things seem to have calmed down. Police are packing up and have reopened streets. We’ll continue to update as new info comes in.
Final update @ 5pm: According to Maj. Hayes, the incident began some time after 1:00pm after an officer doing a security check on the tenth floor “felt threatened” by a group of inmates in a living area. When the officer stepped out of the room, Hayes says the inmates “began to demonstrate and cause some property destruction.” According to Hayes, 15 inmates shattered doors and windows, and flooded part of the floor.
When armed tactical units entered the jail, the inmates gave up and have since been relocated to other floors in the facility, but kept separate from other inmates. “they’re not going to go back in [the general population],” Hayes says.
Hayes says no inmates or jail staff members were injured during the incident.