[Pnews] What you can do to support Herman Bell

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Sep 13 10:53:33 EDT 2017


Dear Friends,

We are asking people to write letters to Anthony Annucci, Commisioner of 
New York Dept. of Corrections making the following demands:*(a sample 
letter follows that we would like you to use)
*

*That Herman Bell be immediately given adequate medical screening and 
attention at an outside hospital;*

*That CO J Saunders and the other officers responsible for the beating 
be fired;*

*DROP THE CHARGES - That the ridiculous charges brought against Herman 
be dropped immediately*

*Mr. Bell should be returned at least to general population (he had been 
on the Honor Block at Great Meadow and despite his request was never 
given a reason for being moved to general population);*

*That Mr. Bell’s family visits be reinstated;*

*That Mr. Bell be moved to a facility where his family visiting can take 
place and be rescheduled at the earliest possible date*.

_____________________________________

Anthony Annucci
Commissioner
Department of Corrections and Community Supervision
1220 Washington Ave
Albany, NY 12226

Dear Commissioner Annucci:

I am writing in concern and outrage over the unprovoked beating by Great 
Meadow C.F. correctional officers of Herman Bell, #79C0262.

On September 5^th , with no provocation, correctional officers assaulted 
this widely respected elder. The recreation yard was being closed 
following a disturbance in which Herman had no part. He was told to line 
up with hands behind his back, which he did. When all other men on the 
yard were escorted through one door back into the prison, only Herman 
was escorted into a separate entrance and into a hallway with no one 
around except correctional officers—and with no surveillance cameras. In 
the hall, one officer began beating Herman in the face, breaking his 
glasses and knocking him to the floor. That guard continued to punch and 
kick Mr. Bell while he was on the ground.Around 5-6 additional guards 
arrived at this scene and joined in, punching and kicking Mr. Bell all 
over his body while he was on the ground.He was kneed in the chest and 
stomach, breaking two of his ribs.One guard then grabbed his head and 
slammed it into the ground three times, at which point Mr. Bell thought 
his life would be ending.He was excessively maced at close range all 
over his face and eyes, causing temporarily blindness and inability to 
breathe.

After being brought to the prison infirmary, Mr. Bell was not treated 
right away but was left alone for hours in an isolation cell.When staff 
finally looked in on him, he asked why he was there and was told he was 
accused of assaulting one of the officers. This charge is absurd.

The idea that this 69-year-old man would have hit an officer is 
ludicrous, as he was about to have a family visit (the first in two and 
a half years) and was beginning preparations for an appearance at the 
Board of Parole this coming February. People who had spoken to Herman on 
the phone the day before the incident attest to the fact that he was 
looking forward to the family visit with great anticipation, and that he 
was optimistic about his chances at the Board, given recent changes in 
parole regulations and the appointment of new commissioners. He had 
expressed similar thoughts and feelings to many of his friends and 
family. There is absolutely no doubt that he did not commit any 
infraction on September 5^th ; he also has not had a ticket in the past 
20 years.He has never been accused of assaulting staff.

This brutal assault by Great Meadow guards constitutes not only staff 
abuse but also elder abuse.Mr. Bell will be 70 years of age in four 
months.He was badly injured in the beating. An X-ray, the only 
diagnostic screening he received for his injuries, revealed two cracked 
ribs, and he has a massive, swollen black eye and bruises all over his 
body.He has suffered severe headaches due to the beat-down, and the 
vision in his left eye – which remains completely red – is seriously 
impaired. Mr. Bell requires both a CT scan of the head and an 
ophthalmology examination.

*I write to demand that you take these actions:*

*That Herman Bell be immediately given adequate medical screening and 
attention at an outside hospital;*

*That CO J Saunders and the other officers responsible for the beating 
be fired;*

*That the ridiculous charges brought against Herman be dropped 
immediately and that he be returned at least to general population (he 
had been on the Honor Block at Great Meadow and despite his request was 
never given a reason for being moved to general population);*

*That Mr. Bell’s family visits be reinstated;*

*That Mr. Bell be moved to a facility where his family visiting can take 
place and be rescheduled at the earliest possible date*.

Sincerely,

NAME/ADDRESS

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