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Rikers Inmate Streams to Facebook Live From Behind Bars: Report

Image: AP Photo/Seth Wenig
Image: AP Photo/Seth Wenig

New York’s Rikers Island is, as jails go, a complete shitshow. In illustration of that fact, a Rikers inmate allegedly smuggled an iPhone into the jail and streamed his living conditions to Facebook Live on July 22, in a video obtained by PIX 11.


Excerpts of the video posted by PIX show the inmate—who has since been released—removing a scalpel hidden inside his mouth, which he later claimed he made himself. He says the stream was meant to show the poor conditions within Rikers and believes the only way to fix the jail is to shut it down completely. PIX claims the video was viewed over 7,000 times, though it’s unclear if it was taken down by Facebook or the inmate himself.

Since launching in April of this year, Facebook Live has collected it share of unusual and tragic incidents, most famously the death of Philando Castile at the hands of by police—a video which was briefly deleted by unknown means. Other less notable examples include teens livestreaming their sexual escapades.


Though there are metal detectors installed in Rikers, it seems they weren’t able to catch either the blade or the iPhone in this inmate’s possession. As a result, Rikers is seeking authorization to employ body scanners similar to those in use with the TSA. A spokesperson for the New York Department of Corrections has claimed that the former inmate has since been arrested as a result of posting the video and “is facing serious charges.”


Senior reporter. Tech + labor /// Keybase: Securedrop: http://gmg7jl25ony5g7ws.onion/

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Arrested for posting the video?

Fuck them. Prisons in this country are deplorable at best. Both the inmates AND the guards are treated like shit.

But what else to expect from the largest police state in the world.