Tag Archive: Raleigh

Judge to hear arguments in Central Prison lawsuit

Central_Prison315_280By EMERY P. DALESIO, Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. — A federal judge was scheduled to hear arguments Thursday about dismissing a lawsuit that accuses guards at North Carolina’s maximum security prison of sadistically beating inmates, resulting in broken bones and wheelchair confinement.

U.S. District Judge Terrence Boyle planned to consider whether there is enough evidence already presented in court documents to go ahead with the lawsuit on behalf of eight inmates at Central Prison in Raleigh.

The inmates accuse 19 correctional officers of taking handcuffed and shackled inmates from solitary confinement cells where they were placed for disciplinary reasons to blind spots out of view of security cameras, then severely beating them. Former prison administrators Gerald Branker and Kenneth Lassister are accused in the lawsuit of failing in their duties for not developing policies on investigating inmate abuse complaints and to preserve video tapes that might contain evidence from being erased.

“For years, the inmates of Unit One have pursued every avenue available to them to put an end to the violence that is routinely inflicted upon them. They have filed grievances, engaged in letter writing campaigns to public officials, gone on hunger strikes, and exhausted all of the administrative remedies available to them. The violence has not stopped,” wrote Elizabeth Simpson, an attorney for North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services representing the inmates. (more…)

Wake County jailer indicted in fatal beating of inmate

Markeith Montrail Council, a Wake County detention officer

Markeith Montrail Council, a Wake County detention officer

From News and Observer

RALEIGH — Wake County Detention Center jailer Markeith Council was indicted Tuesday for voluntary manslaughter in the June 4 beating that ultimately claimed the life of inmate Shon Demetrius McClain.

McClain, 40, was booked into the Wake County jail May 28 on misdemeanor charges. The altercation between the jailer and inmate on June 4 occurred in a day room at the jail.

Two witnesses, both inmates, say it started with verbal exchange between McClain and Council that escalated until Council pushed McClain to the floor. (more…)

FREE ALL MOTHERS! A Reportback from the Mother’s Day Noise Demo

IMG_1311On Mother’s Day, May 12th, between 50 and 75 people met up in Raleigh to show their solidarity with women at NCCIW and RCCW, two of the largest women’s facilities in the state. The demo was part of a national call-out initiated by the Chapel Hill Prison Books Collective. Noise Demonstrations also happened outside prisons and jails in Bloomington IN, Pittsburgh PA, New York City and Muskegon MI. In Raleigh anti-prison activists, anarchists, Catholic Workers, and others, ranging in age from 5 to at least 70, banged on drums and pots and pans, carried signs and black flags, and lofted banners that read “Free All Mothers,” “ACAB,” and “Love for All Prison Rebels.” (more…)

Lawsuit: Eight inmates beaten at NC Central Prison

centralFrom WRAL


RALEIGH, N.C. — A federal lawsuit on behalf of eight inmates at North Carolina’s Central Prison alleges correctional officers used “blind spots” out of view of security cameras to beat handcuffed and shackled inmates.

An amended complaint filed last week in U.S. District Court by lawyers at North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services says the beatings occurred in Unit One, a cell block known as “The Hole” where inmates are kept in solitary confinement for disciplinary reasons.

The inmates’ abuse claims are supported by medical records documenting blunt-force injuries that occurred while they were segregated from other prisoners, including broken bones, concussions and an inmate who is still unable to walk months after his hip was shattered.

N.C. Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Pam Walker said the agency would not comment on pending litigation.

The lawsuit names as defendants 21 correctional officers accused of participating in the abuse, as well as two wardens at the maximum security prison in Raleigh. The lawsuit alleges that former prison administrator Gerald J. Branker and current administrator Kenneth Lassister knew about the problems. (more…)

Sunday, May 12th, Raleigh: Mother’s Day Noise Demo

mothers in prison

Free All Mothers!

Mother’s Day Anti-Prison Noise Demo

– Sunday, May 12th,  3pm

Meet at State St. and Bragg St. in Raleigh.

For Carpool Information Please email: ppbirthday@riseup.net

– Spread the word!!!

We’ll be breaking the isolation and monotony of the women in the Raleigh Correctional Center for Women and the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women (a prison next door to RCCW). Together these two prisons have almost 1,500 women, almost all of them mothers. RCCW is the state’s largest prison with 1,288 women including women’s death row.

Bring banners,drums, pots and pans, your voice, your love for those inside and your anger for the walls that separate us. (more…)

A Story of Abuse at Central Prison

Central_Prison315_280The following is a brief memoir of abuse suffered by prisoner Michael Williams, at Central Prison in Raleigh.

My complaint is as follows:

On October 11, 2012 I flooded my cell due to a broken shower that emitted a foul odor and went unprepared for two weeks. The hot water on the sink was also broken and stayed ice cold like the cold water.

Officers Moore, Summerlin, Uretha and Bidwell came to my cell for a cell search. I submitted. I placed my hands through the food slot and was handcuffed behind my back. Officers Moore and Summerlin conducted the search. Officers Uretha and Bidwell stood guard over me on the mezzanine.

After the search, I was placed in the shower. I got dressed. Then I was escorted out to the sergeant’s office. Sergeants Ayers and Oates were present. Officer Moore asked the sergeants, “What cell is he going to?” Both sergeants replied in unison, “CL-201.” (more…)

Dec. 25th, Christmas Caroling at Central Prison

AP-christmas-prison-holiday-300x209Tuesday, Dec 25th, 10am Christmas Caroling Outside Central Prison- Meet under the railroad trestle on Western Blvd. Enter Boylan Heights through Boylan Ave.

All are invited to the Fr. Charlie Mulholland Catholic Worker House annual Christmas morning witness and caroling at Central Prison at 10 A.M.  We will  rally around the perimeter of the prison on Christmas morning to sing carols.  River Rhythms will also be there to make a joyful noise. We hold a big Merry Christmas sign and bring the only cheer the inmates get on Christmas (The warden does not allow visiting on Christmas to give more guards the day off).  Singing starts around 10 am.  Believe me, this is a great way to remember what the season is about.  Peace and Blessings, Patrick O’Neill

More Tales of Sadism from NC DPS: Prison Organizers Assaulted on Unit 1 at Central Prison

Apparently the struggle at Central Prison in Raleigh has taken a dire turn for the worst. Prisoners on Unit 1 at the facility, known for housing in segregation politically conscious prisoners who were active in various struggles including the Strong 8 and this year’s hunger strike have been facing retaliation by a sadistic group of guards calling themselves the “A-Team.”

Writes one prisoner on the unit, “Between November 17th and November 21st three convicts within my cell block have been brutally beaten while in full restraints for no justified reason. These brutal beatings are happening on shift and that is rotation A. ”

According to inmate reports, on November 18th, CO’s Logan, Hunt, Sergeant Oaths, and Lieutenant Soucer beat Haseen Eberett with their handcuffs, nightsticks, hands, and feet while he was in full restraints. Eberett was beat unconscious and thrown back in his cell bloody and in need of medical attention.

Then on November 21st, William Harris was beat in full restraints by CO’s Hunt, Boone, Logan, Oath, and Jones, while Lieutenant Blanks watched from his office along with Lieutenant Humpries. Writes one prisoner, “There have been numerous other beatings within the last two weeks by these officers,” who “call themselves the A-Team. The forementioned officers come to inmates’ cells telling them they have a visit, or have to go to medical. Once they get the inmate in the hallway, they beat them while the inmate is in restraints.

A prison organizer and former hunger striker from Unit 1 finishes, “All comrades that read this letter I want you all to know that the conditions at Central Prison at this time are dire, and it’s just a matter of time before an inmate is beat to death. Please help us in any way you can!”

These reports have been corroborated by multiple prisoners on the block. Stories of these beatings are just the most recent report of sadistic brutality on the part of NC DPS administrations, following the recent “leave” of Sampson CI’s warden and two CO’s after reports of sexual and racial assaults on a road gang surfaced.

What life is like in solitary confinement at North Carolina’s Central Prison

From The Indy


An excerpt from Central Prison inmate Chris McBride’s letter to Indy Week, dated July 4, 2012:

“Solitary confinement is hell. I agree with the public—it is a form of torture. It is a tiny cell about 6 feet by 8 feet. It has a steel toilet, with a sink built in the top. There is a steel bed, with an extremely thin mattress. There is a small shelf to put your things, and a very small little desk hanging off the wall, but no chair. There is a window, that is about 5 inches wide and about 4 feet tall, but you can’t see out of it. It’s fog/clouded glass. Plus it’s covered by steel with little holes in it. The door window is the same. The light stays on 24 hours a day. At 11 p.m.–6 a.m., a smaller light comes on but it’s still bright.

“We are in this cell 23 hours a day. We are allowed to come out for recreation five times a week for one hour. The rec is a cage. They just stick us in a little cage and we can walk around. That’s it. We are only allowed to take three showers a week. Only three! And we can only take 5 minutes. If we are lucky, we get 10 minutes.

“So if you add up five 1-hour recs, and three 10-minute showers, that’s 5½ hours. Let’s round that up to 6 hours. There’s your answer. Out of the 168 hours in a week, we are out of our cell 6 hours. If that ain’t a form of torture, I don’t know what is.” (more…)

Croatan Earth First! Locks Down NC DENR For Complicity In Fracking

From Croatan Earth First!

Livestream of the whole event:  http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/26361300

Online Gallery of Pictures: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/10/22/2430466/fracking-protestors-chain-themselves.html

Seven members of Croatan Earth First! and participants from our Piedmont Direct Action Camp locked together today, barricading the front of North Carolina’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) building in downtown Raleigh. Providing physical, active resistance against fracking in North Carolina, CEF! has chosen DENR for an action as they are responsible for helping legalize fracking, and will be responsible for regulating it. They have also hired a corrupt Mining and Energy Commission board, which includes people with vested interests in hydraulic fracturing occurring. We are letting them know that this farce won’t stand! No compromise in defense of Mother Earth! (more…)