Parts of four New York City jails and 26 hostages were still held by rioting prisoners on Sunday (4 October) as authorities struggled to solve the worst prison crisis in the city's history.
GV Brooklyn jail exterior
LV Prisoners hanging sheet through broken windows
GV Jail with police in foreground
SV PAN prisoners at broken windows, throwing down objects (4 shots)
SV Rock hurled from window hits police car
SV Passers-by running
LV Police with barbed wire around barbed wire around entrance to jail
SV Plank of wood hauled through role in wall, prisoner through hole and shakes fist
GV Police reinforcement arriving
LV Prisoners hanging sheets through broken windows
GV Police running towards prison
SV Police climb ladder
SV Prisoners with arms through windows give "Black Power" sign
GV PAN prison block
SV Police patrolling "The Tombs", GV PAN prison block (2 shots)
GV Jail - Long Island
CU Three Justices of Peace arrive at jail-house
SCU Interview with prisoners
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ 18: REPORTER: On what conditions will be hostages be released?
PRISONER: We've told you that we are not giving up the hostages right now. The subject will be discussed after the hearing. May be we ought to enlighten you a bit more. At our last meeting it was specifically stated that at other meetings, or other gathering that we had that we want the press, and we want the radio, because we want to relate to the public exactly what is transpiring within the institution. Now we have already seen before our eyes on the television, and you have distorted the truth.
Initials CM/AW/OS/107 CM/AW/OS/125
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Parts of four New York City jails and 26 hostages were still held by rioting prisoners on Sunday (4 October) as authorities struggled to solve the worst prison crisis in the city's history.
The prisoners are protesting against excessive bail, long waits before trial, crowded conditions, and poor food. They are using the radio and television media to get their complaints over directly to the public.
Police moved in on Sunday using tear-gas to recapture all but one floor of the Kings Country House of Detention in Brooklyn. The floor still in the hands of the prisoners is the one where three hostages were being held following their abduction on Saturday (3 October).
The other jails involved include the Queen's House of Detention in Long Island City, where the rioting first erupted on Friday -- the Men's House of Detention in Manhattan known as "The Tombs" -- and a jail in Kew Gardens, Queens.
The prisoners at Kew Gardens were the only ones who did not seize any hostages.
Mayor John Lindsay told the prisoners in a radio broadcast that he would ask the state legislature for prison and judicial reforms they are demanding, but warned that any further disorder would not be tolerated. Most city authorities feel that the prisoners' complaints are at least partly justified.
Heavy damage has been caused in all four of the prisons affected, but only a few minor injuries have been reported.
Few of the prisoners involved were convicts. Most have been charged with crimes and are awaiting rial. They claim that some of them have been waiting two years for trial, and that bail was set at too high a rate for minor crimes.
As part of an agreement with officials, three judges of the New York Supreme Court held an extraordinary bail hearing on Saturday (3 October) at the Long Island City jail to hear 47 cases. Several men had their bail reduced, or were freed on their own recognisance.
But seven of the cases selected by the prisoners for review involved Black Panthers on trial for conspiring to blow up public buildings. Their bail was not reduced.
Television and radio reporters talked to the prisoners at Long Island on Saturday (3 October), about their conditions for release of the hostage.