Los Angeles County, California, inmates are deliberately infecting themselves with the Chinese coronavirus in the hope of being released from prison, surveillance footage released by Sheriff Alex Villanueva reveals.
During a press conference on Monday, Villanueva released surveillance footage from the Pitchess Detention Center showing inmates trying to contract the coronavirus crisis. Subsequently, more than 20 inmates seen in the footage tested positive for coronavirus.
“It’s deeply disturbing,” Villanueva said.
In one portion of the footage, an inmate can be seen getting hot water from a dispensary that is available to all inmates. Then, the inmate walks over to a group of fellow inmates where they pass the bottle around just before a nurse takes their temperature.
Villanueva said the inmates were not only drinking from the same bottle to try to get coronavirus, but they were drinking the hot water to falsely show high-temperature symptoms of it.
“Under normal circumstances, no one would be doing that anyway, particularly when everyone has the same access to the water. … No one shares this,” Villanueva said. “Now, they’re sharing the hot water and using the same bottle.”
Other footage shows inmates drinking from the same Styrofoam cup and sniffing from a mask in order to infect themselves with coronavirus.
Villanueva said the inmates were deliberately crowding together and not social distancing despite being held in the relatively large space where distancing is possible.
“It’s sad to think that someone deliberately tried to expose themself to [coronavirus],” Villanueva said. “As a result of this behavior, from this particular modular, 21 inmates tested positive for [coronavirus] in a week of these videos being taken.”
“That is problematic because somehow there was a mistake in belief among the inmate population that if they tested positive that there was a way to force our hand and release more inmates out of our jail environment,” Villanueva said. “And that’s not going to happen.”
Since March 11, California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has released more than 5,500 inmates into local communities. In the last week, alone, nearly 315 inmates were freed from prison.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.