On June 29, 2013 a Black Texas Department of Criminal Justice Correctional officer with the last name Ford used his handcuffs on a Latino/Mexican prisoner as if the handcuffs were brass knuckles. Officer Ford punched the prisoner repeatedly in the head. Fellow prisoners who witnessed this heinous act requested to be given witness statements. Captain Vincent, Lieutenant Sutton, and Sergeant Landrum refused to produce witness statements. This is just one more incident adding to a long list of human rights abuses and violations that have taken place on the Estelle Unit located in Huntsville, Texas.
We have found through our experience that the Grievance Program is corrupt in Texas prisons. Nevertheless, in order to maintain a record of the incident and preserve the right to file 42 US 1983, total exhaustion of administrative remedies is a must per the corrupt PRLA law. I and many comrades in Texas and beyond have written the U.S. Department of Justice - Civil Rights Division - Special Litigation Section. I've gotten back the same form letter response over 6 times! They ain't doin' shit! The abuse continues.
Handcuffs being used as brass knuckles!!? Ranking supervisors refusing to pass witness statements!!? These are criminal acts. There is an ongoing conspiracy to cover up said illegal acts in Texas prisons.
I have discovered a "formula" that works very well in reference to combating these oppressors in Texas, especially when they band together in order to cover up blatant acts of abuse and humyn rights violations by TDCJ employees:
- Media coverage - form bonds and relationship of trust and respect with journalists.
- Prisoner rights activists - we all need free world helpers.
- State and federal legislators - you must seek an authority higher than the prison administrators.
This 3 step formula is good for all states but the specifics will change by geographic location. However, at this time our focus is on Texas! Step 1s don't work, Step 2s are a joke. O.I.G.? Impotent. Executive Director Brad Livingston, Texas Board Chairman Oliver Bell, all T.D.C.J. offices and entities operate under the same program and that is cronyism, nepotism, obstruction of justice tactics and cover-ups.
Who is ordering TDCJ to downplay and coverup acts of abuse and barbaric acts of violence aimed at prisoners? Answer: Texas State Attorney General Gregg Abbott! He is at the top of the food chain and remember he is running for Governor in Texas. It is time for the Attorney General's office to be held accountable for all these heinous acts of violence being perpetrated by TDCJ employees with no accountability.
Putting Theory into Practice
I've set forth the formula, now it is time to fill in the blanks so we may test our model.
- Brandi Grissom - Managing editor/journalist, The Texas Tribune, 823 Congress Ave, Suite 210, Austin, TX 78701
- The Texas Observer, Attn: Emily DePrang - Staff writer, 307 W. 7th St, Austin, TX 78701
- Austin American Statesman, Attn: Mike Ward - Journalist, 305 S. Congress, Austin, TX 78704
- The Prison Show!, Kathy Griffin Grenan, Hank Lamb, KPFT-FM 90.1, 419 Lovett Blvd., Houston, TX 77006
Prison Activist Organizations
- Texas CURE, Attn: Joan Covici-Michael Jewell & Friends, PO Box 372, Barleson, TX 76097
- Attn: Quanell X & Krystal Muhammad, SHAPE Community Center, 3815 Live Oak, Houston, TX 77004
Legislators - at this time Estelle Unit is starting to register on the radar, let's help it along
- Texas State Senate, Senator John Carona, PO Box 12068, Capitol Station, Austin, TX 78711
- Texas State Senate, Senator Wendy Davis, PO Box 12068, Capitol Station, Austin, TX 78711
Comrades, all of this information is meaningless and useless if you do not test it - practice it! Let's consider a quote from our esteemed Comrade Fred Hampton: "You might say, 'well the way I feel, people ought to be able to walk around naked because rape is love.' That's idealism. See what I mean? You're dealing in metaphysics. You're dealing in subjectivity, because you're not testing it with objective reality. And what's really wrong is that you don't go test it. Because if you test it, you'll get objective. Because as soon as you walk out there (naked) a whole lot of objective reality will vamp down upon your ass and take whatever you have. So whenever this happens, this is when people get a whole lot of mistaken ideas. That's why a lot of you can't understand and can't agree with a lot of what we said. You've never tried it." He continues later saying "That's what the Black Panther Party deals with. We're not metaphysicians, we're not idealists, we're dialectical materialists. And we deal with what reality is, whether we like it or not."
The reality in Texas prisons is we the lumpen underclass are being degraded, dehumanized, mistreated, and abused. The persons who are in positions to protect us from such abuses are turning a blind eye to our plight. We are being murdered, raped, and beaten by the very people who are being paid to provide safety. The only way to combat this is by shedding light on the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and the Attorney General's Office who is 100% culpable in regards to these crimes against humanity.
MIM(Prisons) is the tip of the spear. I am only one of many hands wielding the spear. I close with a quote from Chairman Mao: "Our point of departure is to serve the people whole-heartedly and never for a moment divorce ourselves form the masses, to proceed in all cases from the interests of the people." Mao Zedong, On Coalition Government
If we put as much time into this fight as we do on the domino table or the rec yard, change will come in Texas. The comrades in California are a stellar example of solidarity in action. As Eric B. and Rakim used to say "Follow the Leader!"
All Power to the People!