A full-scale riot erupted at Nebraska's Tecumseh State Correctional Institution as corrections officers tried to break up inmates gathering in the yard yesterday afternoon. By the time the smoke cleared, two inmates were dead inside a housing unit, two more were shot (one with a rubber bullet, one with real ammo), two guards had been assaulted, and a handful of fires were burning over demands for better inmate treatment, 10/11 reports. "We've pretty much taken the whole prison," inmate Jeffry Frank told the Journal-Star last night via phone. "The ceilings are fallen. There's drywall on fire. There's cameras torn down." Another inmate called his mother, telling her, "The inmates have taken over the prison," per the Omaha World Herald.
Prisoner Daryl Eskridge said the riot was because inmates' pleas (and petition) for better conditions appeared to fall on deaf ears, per the Journal-Star. "We understand this is a prison, but we have been subjected to a lot of things the department doesn't want people to see," Eskridge says, citing inadequate access to the prison and yards, inmates' inability to get jobs, awful living conditions, and harassment. "We just want fairness," Frank tells the paper. "We've got guards who don't know how to treat a person. We're in a prison, but we're human beings, too." All four injured men were treated and are expected to be OK. (Inmates control a significant percentage of Mexico's prisons.)