[Pnews] Kevin ‘Rashid’ Johnson thrown in solitary for publicizing abuses

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Jul 28 17:25:02 EDT 2017


http://sfbayview.com/2017/07/rashid-thrown-in-solitary-for-publicizing-abuses/ 



  Thrown in solitary for publicizing abuses

July 28, 2017
------------------------------------------------------------------------

*/by Kevin ‘Rashid’ Johnson/*

On July 14, 2017, I was brought before a Florida Department of 
Corruptions (FDC) Institutional Classification Team (ICT) for a staged 
hearing to have me thrown in solitary confinement, euphemistically 
called Close Management (CM) by the FDC.

“It Should Never Be Easy for Them to Destroy Us” – Art: Kevin “Rashid” 
Johnson, 158039, FSP, P.O. Box 800, Raiford FL 32083

As described in my recent article “I’m off to Florida 
<http://sfbayview.com/2017/07/rashid-im-off-to-florida-and-a-new-phase-of-reprisals-for-publicizing-abuses-in-us-prisons/>,” 
the basis for this recommendation was my involvement in publicizing 
prison abuses in other states where I’d been confined. Florida officials 
vowed to put a stop to my activities.

Although they admitted these reasons for recommending my confinement in 
solitary, FDC officials gave another standardized pretext, because FDC 
policy lists specific grounds for which prisoners may be put in CM. The 
pretext given was that I am a supposed gang leader.

Upon my FDC assignment they had the New Afrikan Black Panther Party 
(NABPP), of which I am a member, classified as a gang or STG (Security 
Threat Group), for the stated purpose of using that false profile to 
attack my propensity to publicize abuses. They claimed the general 
public that read my articles and protested the reported abuses are my 
gang following.

Following being served the first notice of the ICT hearing on July 6, 
2017, which I addressed in my article “I’m off to Florida 
<http://sfbayview.com/2017/07/rashid-im-off-to-florida-and-a-new-phase-of-reprisals-for-publicizing-abuses-in-us-prisons/>,” 
I was issued an “amended” notice on July 12, upon which I was heard on 
July 14.

The second notice differed from the first one in only one respect – 
instead of using the “gang leader” pretext for my CM recommendation, it 
claimed my publicizing prison abuses and public complaints somehow 
constituted actions on my part which resulted in or could have resulted 
in serious physical injury to someone. This second pretext was even more 
obviously contrived and absurd than the one it replaced.

Under FDC policy I was entitled to state verbally or in writing my 
objections to the CM recommendation at the ICT hearing. I gave a written 
statement outlining the illegalities of the FDC’s and ICT’s actions, 
which of course had no impact – I was still thrown in solitary.


      On July 14, 2017, I was brought before a Florida Department of
      Corruptions (FDC) Institutional Classification Team (ICT) for a
      staged hearing to have me thrown in solitary confinement,
      euphemistically called Close Management (CM) by the FDC.

However, I feel it is of public value to show yet again how lawless 
prison officials are, even in the face of being confronted with the very 
laws they are violating and, as executive “law enforcement” officials, 
they are under duty and oath to obey. In fact, the ICT’s response to my 
statement was to tell me in antebellum terms that I have no rights.

Here, then, is the written statement I gave to the ICT (slightly edited 
only to remove technical language and to add subtitles):


      *Statement for CM Review by Kevin ‘Rashid’ Johnson*

The CM recommendation and supporting comments show that FDC officials 
are not only lawless, but their actions and intentions against me are 
racist, politically intolerant and overall unconstitutional.

_Bogus STG/gang profile_

Foremost, the STG profiling of the NABPP was conspiratorial and 
premeditated, and done consistent with a long-existing and long-outlawed 
racial prejudice that has always operated, in the U.S. South especially, 
to strip and deny New Afrikans/Blacks political representation of our 
own choice and the right to vote, and to suppress Communist groups which 
were always repressed because of their opposition to racial prejudice 
and segregation. This is unconstitutional racial and political 
discrimination and denial of the right to political expression and 
association.

The NABPP is an above-ground, Communist, non-violent, anti-racist, 
predominantly New Afrikan/Black (minority) political party. The U.S. 
Supreme Court has long held that such “minority dissident groups” have 
the same First Amendment right to “engage in political expression and 
association” as do “our two major political parties” (NAACP v. Button, 
371 US 415, 431 (1963)). And the Court has long outlawed censorship and 
discrimination against Communist groups, by government officials (see 
Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 US 444 (1969)).

The FDC plot of STG/gang-profiling the NABPP, which has neither done nor 
promoted anything illegal, “hate” nor gang-related simply demonstrates 
that FDC officials still practice a level of open racism and political 
intolerance such as was outlawed over a half-century ago when open 
racism and racial segregation were the norm. In fact, efforts to repress 
Black political self-representation and voting rights was the very 
reason the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist terrorist groups 
were formed following the Civil War, which groups as now have always 
worked with and within Southern government institutions.

This scheme to suppress the NABPP by “gang”-profiling it is an old 
racist practice that is well recognized. As Justice Black stated long 
ago, “History should teach us … that … minority parties and groups which 
advocate extremely unpopular social or governmental innovations will 
always be typed as criminal gangs and attempts will be made to drive 
them out” (Barenblatt v. US, 360 US 109, 150 (1959)).

More telling is that the FDC doesn’t use its selectively applied, vague 
and overbroad criteria that it uses to STG profile and repress groups it 
dislikes against either of the two mainstream majority white capitalist 
political parties, namely the Republicans and Democrats. This is clearly 
racial and political discrimination, especially where FDC officials are 
allowed to join and support these parties, and more so where since the 
1960s the Republican Party replaced the Democrats as the representative 
of the Southern white supremacist electorate called the “Silent 
Majority.” Also this party’s present president, Donald Trump, is a known 
racist housing discriminator, a habitual sexual assaulter of women, and 
has neo-Nazis like Steve Bannon as key advisors to his administration.

I should add that I was told on June 22, 2017 – my first day in the FDC 
– by a Sgt. L. Colon that he and FDC knew nothing about the NABPP except 
that it was a “Black” group, but he was tasked to STG profile it “for 
approval by Tallahassee,” which would be used to stop my publicizing 
prison abuses. I wrote about that to a lawyer who works with the 
Abolitionist Law Center in Pittsburgh, Penn., in a date-stamped letter 
on June 23 and, just as was threatened by Sgt. Colon, this is exactly 
what is being done now.

So, as a threshold matter, the STG profiling of the NABPP and me is 
unconstitutional per se.

_Illegal retaliation for speech_

Next up, I am admittedly being targeted for indefinite torturous 
solitary confinement for my political association, expression and 
affiliation with the NABPP – a constitutional right as set out above – 
and my publicizing prison abuses through publishing outlets. This is 
portrayed as a threat to security.

It is also admitted that the actual reason I’ve been interstate 
transferred now and in the past is because of my publicizing abuses. 
This is all again outright illegal.

Prisoners have a First Amendment right to have people post information 
by and about them online (Death Penalty v. Ryan, 269 F. Supp. 2d  1199, 
1201-03 (2003)). In this context, the courts have specifically held that 
“punishing a prisoner for a complaint about medical care that his mother 
put on the internet violated the First Amendment” (Cassels v. Sadler, 
342 F. Supp. 2d  555 (2004)). Prisoners have a constitutional right to 
have their writings published (Abu Jamal v. Price, 154 F. 3d 128, 134-36 
(1998)). And officials may not retaliate against prisoners for 
exercising their right to free speech and press (Graham v. Henderson, 
395 F. 3d 372 (2002)). “[W]hether the retaliation takes the form of 
property or privileges does not matter” (DeTamaso v. McGinnis, 970 F. 2d 
211, 214 (1992)).

By being thrown in CM, I will be denied both property and privileges 
enjoyed by general population prisoners.

_Vilifying public protest_

This recommendation then goes so far as to ridiculously portray as 
“gang” activity that the general public reads my writings online – 
actually my articles and art are published in a variety of media, print 
and online – and have in turn protested the conditions and abuses I’ve 
reported.

Interestingly, in the minds of FDC officials nothing is wrong with the 
lawless and inhumane actions of prison officials that I report; rather, 
their only concern is that it’s being exposed to the public.

The courts have specifically held that prisoners’ right to publicize 
government conduct through the media to the public to generate protest 
is part of the First Amendment right to petition the government for the 
redress of grievances (Guajardo v. Estelle, 580 F. 2d 748, 758 (1978)). 
Communicating grievances to government officials via phone calls, the 
mail, email etc. is the most basic and traditional method of lobbying 
and voicing public protest against disagreeable government conduct in 
so-called democratic societies.

It is equally absurd to claim that publicizing my name and address 
online is revealing confidential information, when the FDC has a public 
website of its own that provides this same information about all its 
prisoners to the public.

Apparently, I’m being treated like an “enemy combatant” being secretly 
renditioned to “Black Site” prisons.

This all shows that FDC officials are perversely and absurdly twisting 
perfectly legal and constitutionally protected actions on my, the 
public’s and the media’s parts to speciously rationalize totally illegal 
designs on their own part.

_No harm done, no harm identified_

Only a vague and passing reference is made to disciplinary infractions I 
allegedly incurred in other states. No effort is made nor can it be 
shown that any of them had anything to do with the NABPP or my role in 
the Party, nor that these infraction records are even particularly 
dangerous or serious, especially in comparison with those whose records 
are far worse but haven’t been bounced from state to state as a result.

And absolutely nothing is even hinted at that shows any actions by me 
that did or could cause anyone any physical harm at all. Everything I am 
described to have done is legal and constitutionally protected activity, 
as I’ve shown above.

_Conclusion_

The very recommendation for CM assignment is illegal and reveals the 
most blatantly racist and unconstitutional designs of FDC officials. I 
should not only not be put in CM, but should be removed immediately from 
FDC custody, where it is revealed from the outset that the designs of 
its officials against me are plainly racist and lawless, and the 
admitted motive is to retaliate against and suppress my exposing prison 
abuses to the general public, which is my right and the right of the 
public and the media.

_Closing remarks_

As stated, the foregoing statement had no bearing on the ICT’s decision 
to throw me in solitary. In fact, the hearing was only a formality – it 
had already been decided beforehand by the ICT and FDC’s headquarters 
officials to put me in CM.

Indeed, as I was being “escorted” from my cell to the hearing by a Sgt. 
John Nyitray, he asked if my property was already packed or stored in 
such a way inside my cell that he could quickly put it all into a bag. I 
asked why, to which he replied I was going to be transferred immediately 
following the hearing. I’d already been told by various sources that if 
I was put in CM, I’d likely be sent to Florida State Prison (FSP)’s CM 
unit, which is less than a 30-minute drive from FDC’s Reception and 
Medical Center (RMC), where I was then confined.

It was then approaching 5 p.m., and only emergency transfers authorized 
by FDC’s headquarters in Tallahasee are done at such a late hour. And so 
it was.

Immediately following the staged “hearing,” where I was told by RMC’s 
assistant warden Polk that I have no rights, I was returned to my cell, 
instructed to pack my things, and was then promptly transferred to FSP’s 
CM unit, where I remain. How much more obvious could a corrupt 
conspiracy orchestrated at the highest levels of authority be?

How much more blatant could officials be in their designs to suppress 
and punish the public’s inalienable right to know what a government that 
professes to be theirs is up to? How much more evident could it be that 
this government is not theirs and they must therefore rein it in and 
replace it with one that genuinely is – of the people, by the people, 
for the people.

Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win!

All Power to the People!

/Send our brother some love and light – in fact, flood him with mail so 
the Florida authorities will know the world is watching how they treat 
him: Kevin Johnson, 158039, FSP, P.O. Box 800, Raiford FL 32083./

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