[Pnews] Political Prisoner Sundiata Acoli: Ride and denied

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jul 5 11:25:26 EDT 2016


http://sfbayview.com/2016/07/sundiata-acoli-ride-and-denied/


  Sundiata Acoli: Ride and denied

*/by Sundiata Acoli/*

This is a brief recap of my parole hearing and denial.


      *Background*

Almost two years ago, Sept. 29, 2014, the New Jersey Appellate Court 
ordered the New Jersey Parole Board to “expeditiously set conditions” 
for my parole. The Parole Board appealed the order on grounds that I had 
not undergone a hearing before the full Parole Board prior to securing 
the order for release.


      Almost two years ago, Sept. 29, 2014, the New Jersey Appellate
      Court ordered the New Jersey Parole Board to “expeditiously set
      conditions” for my parole.

The New Jersey Supreme court reversed the Appellate Court’s order and 
remanded the case to the full Parole Board for completion of the 
administrative process, which, for a convicted murderer like me, 
requires a full hearing before the Parole Board prior to securing 
release from incarceration.

The process further requires that the victim be given the opportunity to 
address the board and to witness the full board’s interaction with the 
incarcerated murderer prior to his or her release.


      *The Ride*

So on June 6, 2016, I was transported by van to Trenton, N.J., for a 
parole hearing – without my attorney present – before the full New 
Jersey State Parole Board. Upon arrival at New Jersey State Prison 
(NJSP), formerly Trenton State Prison (TSP), the driver of the van 
reported that he had “inadvertently” left my legal valise, containing 
ALL my legal material, at FCI Cumberland, Maryland.

New Jersey and the FBI are caught in a time warp and can see Sundiata 
Acoli only as a cop killer, not the brilliant mathematician, computer 
analyst, intellectual and humanitarian known and loved by the rest of 
the world, who registered voters in Mississippi in 1964, worked in 
Harlem with the Panthers, and has educated, mentored and counseled 
countless younger prisoners over the years; he is their hero. Imagine 
the term “killer cop” branding someone and burying him behind bars for 
life. – Photo: Star-Ledger

Most importantly, the valise contained my speech, “Why I Should Be 
Paroled,” co-written by my dear comrade-daughter Fayemi Shakur and me, 
which I planned to deliver before the full board two days hence. I asked 
the driver to call R&D at FCI Cumberland and have them mail my valise 
overnight.

NJSP immediately mug shot me, gave me a Sundiata Acoli NJSP photo ID 
with my height reset from 5 feet 9 inches to 5 feet 5 inches by a 
spiteful guard, took me to lockdown and cut off all communications and 
contact between me and the outside world: NO incoming or outgoing mail, 
telephone, telegram, email, visitor, money transfer, commissary, pen, 
paper, pencil, eraser, stamps, envelopes, towel, face cloth or pillow.

I told them I was from a medium security federal prison with no reason 
to be locked down. They ignored me. My attorney, Bruce Afran, was 
scheduled to visit me the next day, the cell was freezing cold, it was 
near sundown so I called it a night and slept in my jumpsuit.

Next day I arose at sun-up, stiff necked, showered and shook myself dry 
like a wet dog. I was given two-thirds of my normal medication dosage at 
FCI Cumberland and when I asked why, I was given no reason but simply 
told “No.”


      I told them I was from a medium security federal prison with no
      reason to be locked down. They ignored me.

I was four-man escorted to Health Services for a Hep-C blood test and 
returned to my cell when I noticed they had written “PC” and “NO-CON`” 
(i.e., “Protective Custody” and “NO CONTACT” respectively) on my cell ID 
card. I told the escort sergeant that I was not PC, had not requested PC 
and would sign any release form necessary to remove myself from PC custody.

He said “No,” nor would he summon a lieutenant or the captain to that 
effect, so I resigned to put my attorney on the matter when we met. A 
prisoner overheard my complaint to the sergeant and sent me a stub 
pencil with no eraser. I was most thankful and sat down to write what I 
could remember of my “parole” speech when the guard called out that my 
attorney is here.

Bruce’s father had died the previous week, but he was holding up well. 
He shared some youthful photos of his father and family with me, I 
expressed my condolences and we got off into the work.

I told him they had lost my legal material, they have me in “total” 
lockdown, have a “PC” sign on my cell door and have cut my meds to 
two-thirds of the dosage I received at FCI Cumberland. Bruce said he’d 
look into it and that meanwhile we needed to focus on the parole hearing 
tomorrow.


      *Hearing day*

On June 8, 2016, I arose and told the guard I had no clean clothes and 
no (safety) razor but I did have a parole hearing today and I’m NOT 
going to the hearing unless I get a shower, razor and clean clothes. He 
produced all three within the hour except he substituted a barber for 
the razor.

The U.S. Cold War with Cuba is thawing, whetting the appetite of New 
Jersey and the FBI to throw Assata Shakur back in a U.S. prison. They’ve 
labeled her a “terrorist” – she’s the first woman on the FBI’s terrorist 
list – and raised the price on her head to $2 million. That is a measure 
of the same officials’ attitude toward her co-defendant, Sundiata Acoli. 
This photo is from a New Jersey State Police-FBI press conference on May 
2, 2013. – Photo: Ed Murray, Star-Ledger

I noticed that my ankles had begun to swell from water accumulation due 
most likely to the change in my medication. I was escorted to take a TB 
x-ray and returned to put the finishing touches on my speech when the 
guard said, “Parole Board’s calling!”

The hearing lasted from about 9 a.m. until about 4 or 5 p.m. It reached 
a new level of examination, cross-examination and recrimination.

Again they questioned me primarily about the events on the turnpike and 
almost nothing about my many positive accomplishments. They also asked: 
“Aren’t you angry that they broke Assata out of prison instead of you?” 
My response was: “No, I don’t or wouldn’t wish prison on anyone.”


      Again they questioned me primarily about the events on the
      turnpike and almost nothing about my many positive accomplishments.

At the end, they again denied parole and plan to go outside the 
guidelines to give me an “extended” (longer than usual) “hit” (time 
until next parole hearing.) Since Blacks, others of color and the 
oppressed are the overwhelming majority of people in prison, we need to 
seriously think about creating parole boards that mirror the people in 
prison, that is, “People Parole Boards.”

My remaining two weeks at NJSP were spent in almost complete isolation 
from the outside world, except my last night there the Inmate Legal 
Association (ILA) sent me a free permit for an outgoing legal letter. By 
then my ankles were almost continually swollen from excess water 
buildup. I wrote my favorite attorney and next morning they packed me 
out for the return trip to FCI Cumberland.

/Send our brother some love and light: Sundiata Acoli (Clark Squire), 
39794-066, FCI Cumberland, P.O. Box 1000, Cumberland MD 21501./

-- 
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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