(Memphis, TN) Shelby County Corrections leaders say they’ve got to send a message about lax measures after a potentially dangerous incident.
It started with a group of six minimum-security inmates on a work detail at the Cook Convention Center where they filled Christmas baskets for the needy.
”They were able to get out of the sight of supervisors and they wound up going upstairs to view a body," said James Coleman, Director of the Shelby County Corrections Department.
They made their way, just a few hundred yards away, to the Cannon Center for a viewing and funeral.
This wasn’t just any funeral or visitation, it was for Cecil “C-Baby” Tuggle, who was recently gunned down outside his Summer Avenue area business on December 6th.
Popular Memphis rapper “Yo Gotti” is said to have paid for and arranged the service.
Among those in attendance, several reputed gang members, something that alarmed corrections officials who didn't want their inmates mixing in that crowd,.
”We have a problem that they were able to get out of the sight of their supervisors and certainly go into a very unsupervised, potentially violent situation".
Fortunately nothing happened, and the inmates made it back to fill their Christmas baskets without incident.
Director Coleman says he’s got to address the breach of security, ”we’re taking discipline against the inmates for their actions. We’re taking discipline as appropriate for the staff for allowing individuals to get out of their sight and we’re trying to review everything so we can tighten up policies."
The inmates will reportedly not be allowed to leave the Correction Center, and employee penalties have yet to be decided.