Tag Archive: Strong 8

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…)

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

by

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…)

Call-in Day Against I-Con on Monday 8/20

A call-in day has been announced for Monday, August 20 in support of all prisoners who are suffering the inhumane form of punishment known as I-Con (Intensive Control) or solitary, and in particular the Strong 8 prisoners who are still in solitary.

Here’s a note from one of the Strong 8:
“I went to the DCA board today, and all of us were given six more months of ICON! I can’t believe it! I haven’t received any infractions, or caused any trouble. I haven’t given no reason to be kept on I-Con. The FCC board recommended us to be released to regular population, but the warden over-ruled the recommendation and told the DCA board to keep us on ICON as an example. I have never seen such gross disregard of policy, and such blatant abuse of power. It’s ridiculous. As you know, all support, and acts of solidarity are truly appreciated. You and everyone else involved are truly a blessing.” (more…)