Video evidence: New charges against 16 inmates in Cook County Jail fracas

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The most dangerous section of Cook County jail lived up to its reputation earlier this month during a free-for-all and now 16 inmates are charged with mob action as a result.

Jailhouse video shows the Division 9 shoving match between inmates that turned into a slugfest. As the hand-to-hand combat raged out of control someone brought a shank to the fight and two inmates ended up with puncture wounds.

RAW VIDEO: Fight breaks out at Cook County Jail
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Raw video shows a shoving match between inmates that turned into a slugfest at Cook County Jail.

On Monday, 16 Cook County jail detainees were indicted on charges of mob action following the clash. All of those facing new charges are already accused or previously convicted violent offenders.

Authorities say the relative peace of the super-max division was shattered about 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 16th in Division 9. While spasms of violence are not uncommon in the county jail, such wall-to-wall mayhem in a division is rarely seen.

Sheriff's officials say they found a homemade weapon after the bodies were separated.

Already incarcerated criminals now indicted on new charges include:

--Robert Morales, 28, accused of murdering a 14-year-old boy in 2016
--Garlin Minor, 24, charged with fatally shooting a 73-year-old man sitting on a South Side porch in 2013
--Larry Woods, 39, accused of beating his 16-year-old daughter to death while he was high on PCP in 2012
-- Nicacio Munez, 28, a convicted domestic abuser charged with the 2016 sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl

Also charged with mob action following the jail melee are Breily Sotomayor, 24; Richard Duncan, 20; Javonte Daniels, 19; Eddie Howlett, 25; Miguel Webster, 23; Matthew Cobbs, 24; Sylvester White, 23; Eugene Spencer, 26; James Ford, 29; James Wilson, 34; Antonio Davis, 28 and Devonte Marsh, 22.

The explosive incident was recorded on closed circuit jailhouse cameras, video revealing inmates trading punches before the first battalion of Cook County officers arrived on the scene. The brawl continued until a second wave of officers arrived and were able to control the uprising.

For years, overcrowding made Cook County jail a tinderbox. Inmates sleeping in dayrooms and on floor mattresses were the norm. The number of inmates regularly topped 10,000 and became the subject of worldwide criticism and federal lawsuits.

By the end of 2017, the jail population had fallen to about 5,900, which was the lowest number in decades. Overcrowding is no longer an issue as there has been both a drop in arrests and also detention - as judges set more reasonable bonds that defendants are able to post - thereby avoiding jail.
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