A disturbing video of an inmate being beaten on Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 28, put part of a Mississipi jail on lockdown, according to reports.
The dramatic footage, originally posted to Snapchat, shows the inmate being pulled out of a cell then repeatedly punched and kicked by other inmates in Warren County Jail. His face has swelling and he had gashes from the beating.
The inmate’s sister told reporters at CBS-affiliate WJTV-12 that he is shooting suspect Denzel Watts.
Watts is charged with five counts of aggravated assault in a Christmas Eve shooting at L.D.’s Restaurant and Lounge in downtown Vicksburg. His bond was set at $500,000.
According to local Mississippi news station, MS News Now, Watts was treated for his injuries and then released back into custody.
Watts’ mother, Ora Bishop, told MS News Now that he thinks the assault was drug-related.
“He think my son stole his dope and he didn’t,” she said.
Watts’ brother, Leslie Lee Watts, Jr. said, “He’s got a gash in his head. He don’t even know his name. He don’t even know where he at.”
The news outlet reported that there are two ongoing investigations, one into the assault and another into the smuggling of the cellphone that captured the footage.
Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace told ABC-affiliate WAPT News that the six inmates involved in the fight are now being housed in separate cells.
“The entire matter is under investigation and those responsible for the assault will face additional charges,” he said.
He added, “Those that were responsible for having possession of the cellphone in a cell block will face additional charges. It is a felony charge.”
According to WJTV-12, initially, the entire jail was on lockdown, then one cell block, where the fight took placed, remained on lockdown.
Sheriff Pace said that it’s too early to tell who will face additional charges, according to the Associated Press.