BY KIM ZETTER | WIRED
Florida prison officials say a computer “glitch” may be to blame for opening all of the doors at a maximum security wing simultaneously, setting prisoners free and allowing gang members to pursue a rival with weapons.
But a surveillance video released this week suggests that the doors may have been opened intentionally — either by a staff member or remotely by someone else inside or outside the prison who triggered a “group release” button in the computerized system. The video raises the possibility that some prisoners knew in advance that the doors were going to open.
It’s the second time in two months that all of the doors in the wing opened at once, officials say, raising questions about whether the first incident was a trial…
The most recent incident occurred on the night of June 13 at the maximum security wing of Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Miami…the security breach only opened the doors of K-81, the maximum-security wing…
According to a written account by one of the guards on duty that night, which obtained, the incident occurred around 7:04 p.m. just after a shift change. A guard who identified himself only as Officer G. Summons in the report, said he had just relieved another officer for a break at 7 p.m. when “the control panel shutdown and all cell doors opened.” At that point “all inmates came out of their cells…”
But according to the video, not all of the inmates exited their rooms, as Summons reports. As soon as the doors opened, surveillance cameras captured one prisoner in particular immediately leaving his cell, as if he had anticipated the door opening, and walking down a passageway toward another prisoner, with whom he reportedly exchanged a shank or homemade prison knife. They and two other inmates then closed-in on 27-year-old Kenneth Williams, who leapt over a second-floor balcony railing to escape his would-be assailants and suffered a broken ankle and fractured vertebrae in the fall…(Full text at WIRED)