"Chaos" at Curry County Detention Center - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Surveillance video shows "chaos" at Curry County Detention Center

Jail Administrator Gerry Billy Jail Administrator Gerry Billy

CLOVIS, N.M.-Two attorney's are speaking out over how officers at the Curry County Detention Center handled a recent flooding incident. It's surveillance video that took the help of an attorney and public records request to obtain. 

Video depicting a 2-hour "chaotic" scene is now being analyzed by Clovis attorney Jennifer Burrill. 

"The inmates are in control of this situation," she said. "The guards are inside a cell while the inmates are running around." 

Viewing the video, the inmates appear to be having a good time. For several minutes, they are seen running and sliding in the water with officers nowhere to be found. 

On Sept. 9, the detention center says an inmate broke two sprinkler heads. While officers were trying to deal with water quickly spreading throughout the building, another inmate lit a t-shirt on fire. 

Burrill found out about the incident the next day when a couple of her clients were being arraigned. 

"I stepped right into a puddle of water," she said. "I saw my clients in handcuffs and orange jump suits walking in the water." 

Defense attorney Sarah Field witnessed the same scene. 

"There was no notice that anything was wrong," she said. "When I walked in, I would say there was probably two inches of water on the ground." 

The arraignments took place an estimated 9 hours after the flooding incident occurred. Both Field and Burrill believe officers handled the situation poorly and say there should be action taken to prevent scenes like this from happening again. 

"Anyone of us could end up in jail," Burrill said. "We have a right to be safe while we're in there fighting our charges and nobody is safe in there while the inmates are in control of the pod." 

Jail administrator Gerry Billy has not returned any of our calls for comment. 

Bill did tell the Clovis News Journal he did not watch the surveillance video but said he believes the jail staff handled the situation correctly. 


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