Under Siege: Hostage takers make demands to local newspaper

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After a pause on the phone line, the audio gets choppy but you can make out, “oppression towards the inmates”, and the line was cut off.

Smyrna: It was 1:59 P.M Wednesday afternoon when the News Journal received one of two phone calls from inside the James Vaughn prison in Smyrna from a woman who claimed to be the fiancé of an inmate being held at the prison. She told the newspaper her fiancé was at the prison where he and 126 other inmates were being held as hostages.

According News Journal reports, several different people spoke to a reporter as the phone was being passed around. Some inmates stated that demands would be made through the media.

One inmate who spoke to the reporter said, “A cop had been stabbed, I’m calling from Smyrna prison, I’m currently a hostage”. According to a News Journal article later published, the reporter believe the inmate may be referring to a Corrections Officer.

Video: delawareonline.com/The News Journal

Another inmate who the reporter spoke to, began reading a list of demands being made by the hostage takers. “This rebellion was manifested to demand … which is to be … to our loved ones, inmate advocacy groups, nonprofit organizations. It says programs.”

It says bridging the gap between JTVCC and society creates a symptomatic appreciation of remedies conducive to reform and rehabilitation.”

After a pause on the phone line, the audio gets choppy but you can make out, “oppression towards the inmates”, and the line was cut off.

The second call was from a woman who also claimed that her son was an inmate at the prison. She patched a male though and the male then says, “Listen, this is what’s going on, this is what’s going on. We’re done playing games, we’re on the f— phone, this is what’s happening. We’re trying to explain the reasons for doing what we’re doing.

“Donald Trump. Everything that he did. All the things that he’s doing now. We know that the institution is going to change for the worse. We know the institution is going to change for the worse.

“We got demands that you need to pay attention to, that you need to listen to, and you need to let them know. I’m talking directly to The News Journal.” abusive treatment among corrections officers. He said the inmates wanted better education and rehabilitation programs – and transparency on how tax dollars were being allocated for those programs.

“If they keep on playing games, it going to get ugly.”

The mother interrupted and explained that she didn’t understand what was happening, but didn’t want to be a part of it. “Son, I love you, and I hope whatever’s going on everything will be all right. … That’s all that I can say.” The mother hangs up shortly after.

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