Video shows inmate carrying large knife during prison riot


An inmate can be seen carrying a large knife in a troubling video that has surfaced of the deadly South Carolina prison riot.

The video believed to be from Lee Correctional Institution and obtained by CBS News was passed along from an inmate to state lawmaker Justin Bamberg, who is also a lawyer.

An inmate without a shirt can be clearly seen with the huge blade in the video. A massive amount of blood can be seen on one of the walls.

Investigators are still looking into the violence at the Bishopville prison after seven prisoners were killed and at least 20 others were injured Sunday night and Monday morning.

Lawyer Ed Bell, who represents some inmates, claims prison officials knew they were creating a dangerous situation when transferred several hundred others from McCormick Correctional Institution last year.

"They put two powder kegs together ... (almost as if) they thought it was going to happen," Bell told the Post and Courier.

More on the riot at the Lee Correctional Institution

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Inmate riot at Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina
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Inmate riot at Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina
A guard tower is seen at the Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville, Lee County, South Carolina, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Randall Hill
The Lee Correctional Institution is seen in Bishopville, Lee County, South Carolina, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Randall Hill
A guard leaves the main entrance of the Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville, Lee County, South Carolina, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Randall Hill
The Lee Correctional Institution is seen in Bishopville, Lee County, South Carolina, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Randall Hill
A guard leaves the Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville, Lee County, South Carolina, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Randall Hill
A guard walks between buildings at the Lee Correctional Institution, in Bishopville, South Carolina, on April 16, 2018. The prison was on lockdown after an overnight riot killed seven while also injuring seventeen others. / AFP PHOTO / Logan Cyrus (Photo credit should read LOGAN CYRUS/AFP/Getty Images)
Inmates work at the Lee Correctional Institution, in Bishopville, South Carolina, on April 16, 2018 as the prison remains on lockdown after an overnight riot killed seven while also injuring seventeen other inmates. / AFP PHOTO / Logan Cyrus (Photo credit should read LOGAN CYRUS/AFP/Getty Images)
The Lee Correctional Institution, in Bishopville, South Carolina, remains on lockdown on April 16, 2018, after an overnight riot killed seven while also injuring seventeen other inmates. / AFP PHOTO / Logan Cyrus (Photo credit should read LOGAN CYRUS/AFP/Getty Images)
The Lee Correctional Institution, in Bishopville, South Carolina, remains on lockdown on April 16, 2018, after an overnight riot killed seven while also injuring seventeen other inmates. / AFP PHOTO / Logan Cyrus (Photo credit should read LOGAN CYRUS/AFP/Getty Images)
The Lee Correctional Institution, in Bishopville, South Carolina, remains on lockdown on April 16, 2018, after an overnight riot killed seven while also injuring seventeen other inmates. / AFP PHOTO / Logan Cyrus (Photo credit should read LOGAN CYRUS/AFP/Getty Images)
The Lee Correctional Institution, in Bishopville, South Carolina, remains on lockdown on April 16, 2018, after an overnight riot killed seven while also injuring seventeen other inmates. / AFP PHOTO / Logan Cyrus (Photo credit should read LOGAN CYRUS/AFP/Getty Images)
The Lee Correctional Institution, in Bishopville, South Carolina, remains on lockdown on April 16, 2018, after an overnight riot killed seven while also injuring seventeen other inmates. / AFP PHOTO / Logan Cyrus (Photo credit should read LOGAN CYRUS/AFP/Getty Images)
The Lee Correctional Institution, in Bishopville, South Carolina, remains on lockdown on April 16, 2018, after an overnight riot killed seven while also injuring seventeen other inmates. / AFP PHOTO / Logan Cyrus (Photo credit should read LOGAN CYRUS/AFP/Getty Images)
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However, Corrections Director Bryan Stirling said the moves happened because staffing was better at Lee. An entire dorm was cleared out, and the McCormick inmates were moved in, he said.

The violence took place in the F-1, F-3 and F-5 dorms, according to Stirling. He said last year's transfers were in the F-3 dorm, but the fight didn't start there and none of the transfers were among the slain or injured.

He said that transfers primarily interacted only with each other and would have only ever been with other inmates a few at a time during work or programs. Stirling said the use of contraband cellphones likely was a major factor in the rioting.

"Why yell across the yard when you can just use a cellphone?" he said.

"A cellphone in the hands of an inmate is a weapon of mass destruction," former guard and retired Capt. Robert Johnson told the Post and Courier. "It allows them to do things far beyond their normal capabilities."

An inmate with a contraband cellphone who has been communicating with The Associated Press for months said he doubts the violence was caused by any recent developments.

"Trust me. You CAN'T add to a problem that is systemic and RIFE ... It's an issue long out-of-control," he wrote.

He said gang members involved in the riot are already seeking revenge.

They are "already planning retribution against the people responsible for killing their amigos," he said.

With News Wire Services

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