[Pnews] I’m off to Florida and a new phase of reprisals for publicizing abuses in US prisons

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Jul 17 11:36:16 EDT 2017


http://sfbayview.com/2017/07/rashid-im-off-to-florida-and-a-new-phase-of-reprisals-for-publicizing-abuses-in-us-prisons/ 



  I’m off to Florida and a new phase of reprisals for publicizing abuses
  in US prisons

Luly 14, 2017
------------------------------------------------------------------------


      */Readers are urged to share this story widely and write to Rashid
      right away; mail equals support, and the more he gets, the safer
      he’ll be: Kevin Johnson, /**/O/**/-158039/**/, RMC, P.O. Box 628,
      Lake Butler FL 32054/*

*/by Kevin ‘Rashid’ Johnson/*


      *Packed off to Florida*

Following Texas prison officials planting a weapon in my cell on March 
26, 2017, then stealing most of my personal property on April 6, 2017, 
in an ongoing pattern of retaliation for and attempts to repress my 
writing and involvement in litigation exposing and challenging abuses in 
Texas prisons, including their killing prisoners, I was unceremoniously 
packed off to the Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) on June 22, 2017.

This transfer came as outside protests mounted against the abuses, and 
Texas officials became more and more entangled in a growing web of their 
own lies invented in their efforts to cover up and deny their reprisals 
against me, and also while a contempt investigation was imminent upon a 
motion I filed in a federal lawsuit brought by relatives of one of the 
prisoners they’d killed – a killing I’d witnessed and publicized.

Florida, notorious for its own extremely abusive prisons, readily signed 
on to take up Texas’s slack. And being an openly corrupt system 
unaccustomed to concealing its dirt, FDC officials shot straight from 
the hip in expressing and carrying on efforts to repress and act out 
reprisals for my exposing and challenging prison abuses.


      *The Welcoming Committee*

Following a four-hour flight from Texas to Florida, I was driven in a 
sweltering prison van from an airport just outside Jacksonville, 
Florida, to the FDC’s Reception and Medical Center (RMC) in Lake Butler, 
Florida. I was forced to leave most all my personal property behind in 
Texas.

Upon reaching RMC, I was brought from the van, manacled hand and foot 
into an enclosed vehicle port, where I was met by a mob of white guards 
of all ranks. I was ordered to stand in a pair of painted yellow 
footprints on a concrete platform as the guards crowded around me.


      I was ordered to stand in a pair of painted yellow footprints on a
      concrete platform as the guards crowded around me. “This is
      Florida, and we’ll beat your ass! We’ll kill you!” said the spokesman.

Their “chosen” spokesman, a tall goofy guard, R. Knight, stepped forward 
and launched into a speech consisting of threats and insults. He 
emphasized that I was “not in Virginia or wherever else” I’d been. That 
“this is Florida, and we’ll beat your ass! We’ll kill you!” He assured 
my “Black ass” that my tendency to protest “won’t be tolerated here.”

He went on and on, like an overseer explaining the plantation’s code of 
decorum and the “place” to a newly arrived Black slave. The analogy is 
apt. “You will answer us only as ‘no sir’ and ‘yes sir,’ ‘no ma’am’ and 
‘yes ma’am.’ You forget this and we’ll kick your fucking teeth out,” he 
barked.

I was then taken through the various stages of being “processed” in: 
fingerprinted, examined and questioned by medical staff etc. Knight took 
possession of my property and stole a number of documents and all my 
writing supplies (five writing tablets, four ink pens, 19 envelopes, 
stamps), all my hygiene supplies (deodorant, shampoo, two bars of soap, 
toothbrush, toothpaste, nail clippers) and so on.

All these items that I brought with me from Texas were inventoried and 
logged by Texas officials. Knight logged and inventoried me as receiving 
from him only my watch, some legal papers, 15 envelopes and my eyeglasses.

Next, I was taken into an office and sat before a Sgt. L. Colon, RMC’s 
“gang (or STG, Security Threat Group) investigator.” He proceeded in the 
same hostile terms. He explained that he knew all about me and his 
displeasure with my published articles about prison abuses, and he 
assured that FDC would put an end to it. He admitted his purpose was to 
put an STG profile on me, refer it to FDC’s central office in 
Tallahassee to be upheld, and I would then be put on STG file, which in 
turn would be used to stop my writings.

He proceeded to ask about me being a “Black Panther leader” and, using a 
thoroughly amateur interrogation method, attempted to have me 
characterize myself and my party as a gang. When his efforts failed, he 
charged me with being a “bullshitter.” I told him only that I am a 
member of a constitutionally protected, non-violent communist party and 
whatever false stigma he wanted to try and invent against me and us was 
typical of fascist governments and we’d address it publicly and in 
court. Our “interview” was terminated.


      Another nurse did my medical history check, remarking that my
      blood pressure reading was extremely high, 145/103. Although she
      had all my medications sitting there in front of her, and I told
      her I had not received my dose that day, she refused to provide
      them and did nothing.

Upon arriving in Florida, I had not received my hypertension medications 
since the prior morning. The sweltering heat was aggravating my 
condition. During the intake process a routine blood pressure check was 
done and my reading was around 145/103. The nurse who did the reading 
passed me on to another nurse who did my medical history check, 
remarking that my reading was extremely high. Although she had all my 
medications sitting there in front of her, and I told her I had not 
received my dose that day, she refused to provide them and did nothing.


      *Barbaric housing*

Following completing the intake process, I was walked a substantial 
distance across the prison yard carrying my bag of property in handcuffs 
and the sweltering midday heat, dizzy from my elevated blood pressure.

I was led to K-building, the solitary confinement unit, where I was put 
into a cell, K-3-102, which had no bunk in it and had a commode that had 
to be flushed by guards from outside the cell – often they would not 
flush it when it needed to be and I asked them to. The commode had 
otherwise been obviously left unflushed for long periods, because inside 
the bowl was and is a thick, yellowed layer of calcium and waste residue 
and it reeked of fermented urine and feces.

Just before I entered the cell, it was wet-mopped, not to sanitize it, 
but to cover the entire floor with water that would not, and did not, 
dry for over a day afterward due to the extreme humidity and lack of air 
circulation in the cells. There is no air conditioning in the cell 
blocks and, unlike in Texas, FDC prisoners may not have in-cell fans.

My cell was infested with ants which would find their way into my bed as 
I slept on the floor. I received numerous bites from them and I believe 
also roaches that frequently crawled into the cell. At night, in the 
pitch black cells – and even when the lights were on – mice and huge, 
two-inch-long cockroaches, along with the “regular” smaller breed of 
roaches, ran into and explored the cell.


      My cell was infested with ants which would find their way into my
      bed as I slept on the floor. I received numerous bites from
      them. At night, even when the lights were on, mice and huge,
      two-inch-long cockroaches, along with the “regular” smaller breed
      of roaches, ran into and explored the cell.

The K-building lieutenant, Jason Livingston, posted a special note 
outside my cell door stating I was on a heightened security status, that 
I and the cell were to be specially searched any time I exited or 
entered the cell, that I was to be specially restrained and the ranking 
guards had to accompany me to and from any destination outside the cell. 
The pretense was that I was an extreme physical threat.

I was denied my hypertension medications until I briefly fell 
unconscious on the evening of June 24, 2017.

Following sending word out to an attorney and others about my conditions 
and experiences, who apparently raised complaints on my behalf, I was 
moved to a “regular” cell, K-1-204, on June 30, 2017, with a bunk and a 
commode I can flush. I was repeatedly confronted by various guards 
who’ve commented that I’m no dangerous person and they don’t understand 
why I’ve been profiled or treated as though I am.

A week later FDC officials would come clean, exposing on the record 
their actual motives for my mistreatment, and “special” security status.


      *Solitary confinement for publicizing abuses*

My readers and others will recall when, in January 2017, I was given a 
disciplinary infraction by Texas officials for a statement I wrote about 
suffering their abuses that was published online. When confronted about 
such retaliatory acts by a PBS reporter, Ms. Kamala Kelkar, TDCJ 
spokesman Jason Clark initially lied, denying that I received any such 
infractions, until Ms. Kelkar emailed him a copy of the charge I’d 
received. He then suddenly changed his story, lying yet again to claim 
the infraction had been overturned, then declined to answer any further 
questions.[i] <#_edn1>

Clark knew enough to deny and try to cover up such acts of retaliation 
against a prisoner exercising his right to freedom of speech. Florida 
officials, however, have come right out admitting and exposing such 
actions.[ii] <#_edn2>

On July 6, 2017, I was confronted by RMC classification officer Jeremy 
Brown, who notified me that I am to be formally reviewed for placement 
on Close Management I status, which is the FDC’s name for solitary 
confinement. The reason he gave for this review was the exact STG 
pretext Sgt. L. Colon told me on my first day was going to be created to 
justify suppressing my writings about prison abuses.

Brown served me written notification stating my CMI review was based 
upon my alleged “documented leadership in a Security Threat Group that 
is certified by the Threat Assessment Review Committee in Central 
Office.” Remember, this is the very same illegal basis upon which 
California prison officials were indefinitely throwing prisoners in 
solitary confinement which prompted three historic mass prisoner hunger 
strikes in 2011 and 2013 and was abolished upon the settlement of a 
class action lawsuit against the practice in 2015.


      My assignment to solitary confinement is for “documented
      leadership in a Security Threat Group” … This is the very same
      illegal basis upon which California prison officials were
      indefinitely throwing prisoners in solitary confinement which
      prompted three historic mass prisoner hunger strikes in 2011 and
      2013 and was abolished upon the settlement of a class action
      lawsuit against the practice in 2015.

But FDC officials went much further in supporting “comments” to state 
their true motives for devising to put me in solitary and for my 
mistreatment up to that point.

As Colon had threatened, an STG label was invented against the New 
Afrikan Black Panther Party, a party about which Colon admitted he and 
the FDC had no prior knowledge. The reason the party was designated an 
STG and gang was because (get this!) I’d written articles while in 
Oregon and Texas prison systems that were published online about abuses 
in the prisons which generated concern and perfectly legal protests from 
the public, which was characterized as my gang following that “caused 
disruption in the orderly operations” of the prisons.

The notice went on to admit, as I’ve long contended in my writings, that 
these writings are the actual reason I’ve been transferred from state to 
state – illegal retaliatory transfers – which was characterized as STG 
activities.

Passing mention was made that I’d received disciplinary infractions 
while in Oregon and Texas, but no attempt was made to show those 
infractions bore any connection to my party affiliation. In fact, those 
who have followed my writings and the series of official reprisals – 
which is now being admitted by FDC officials – know those infractions 
were fabricated retaliations, many of which I was prevented from contesting.

So, according to FDC officials, I am a confirmed gang leader because I 
publicize prison abuses through articles that are posted online and my 
gang members and followers are members of the public who read my 
articles and make complaints and inquiries of officials, which acts are 
characterized as presenting disruptions to prison operations – or in 
other words throwing a monkey wrench in their business-as-usual abuses.


      According to FDC officials, I am a confirmed gang leader because I
      publicize prison abuses through articles that are posted online
      and my gang members and followers are members of the public who
      read my articles and make complaints and inquiries of officials,
      which acts are characterized as presenting disruptions to prison
      operations.

For this I am to be thrown into solitary, which means any future posting 
and publishing of writings by me about prison abuses will be 
characterized as my continuing to engage in STG or gang activities, and 
any legal public protests as my gang members threatening prison security.

I didn’t make this up, it’s all in writing; read it *HERE 
<http://rashidmod.com/?p=2443>* (scroll down to “SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS”). 
This is where taxpayers’ monies are going in financing these ubiquitous 
gang busting units. And should you protest, you will be labelled a 
gangster yourself. I won’t belabor the point.

Dare to struggle, Dare to win!

All Power to the People!

[i] <#_ednref1> Kamala Kelkar, “Resistence Builds Against Social Media 
Ban in Texas Prisons 
<http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/social-media-ban-texas-prisons/>,” 
PBS NewsHour Weekend, Jan. 29, 2017, 5:23 p.m. EST

[ii] <#_ednref2> “The First Amendment forbids prison officials from 
retaliating against prisoners for exercising the right of free speech 
<https://books.google.com/books?id=aM9MAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA214&lpg=PA214&dq=The+First+Amendment+forbids+prison+officials+from+retaliating+against+prisoners+for+exercising+the+right+of+free+speech&source=bl&ots=QpciaiYJtg&sig=pmYs3_fUWK99rwEiH6rPkKrkeY0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjQvtaA54nVAhWC0FQKHZeMDFcQ6AEIJjAA#v=onepage&q=The%20First%20Amendment%20forbids%20prison%20officials%20from%20retaliating%20against%20prisoners%20for%20exercising%20the%20right%20of%20free%20speech&f=false>,” 
Farrow v. West, 320 F.3d 1235, 1248 (2003)

/Send our brother some love and light – and share this urgent story 
widely. The more people who write to him now, the safer he’ll be: Kevin 
Johnson, O//-158039//, RMC, 7765 S. Cr. 231, P.O. Box 628, Lake Butler 
FL 32054./

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