Seeking Action Under The Torture Victim Protection Act
The FDOC has a category for people like the following author; whistleblower, writwriter, troublemaker. That category includes human beings who have the spirit to dare resist immoral power, whatever situation they are in. If imprisoned, they use the law against errant guards, bad policies and slack administration and teach others in the system to do the same; even knowing the FDOC criminals in uniform will lay their vengeance upon them. It makes bad prison workers angry that even their illegal power isn't enough to break the spirit of resistance. How dare a 'piece-of-shit' inmate challenge their games! We have a large number of people who utilize the grievance system to try to force officers to do their jobs properly, but the grievance procedure is wide open to officer interference and the failures within can cost a man his life.
This is a brief statement of fact concerning torture resulting in physical and psychological injuries followed by medical neglect and cover-up of injuries to Florida State Prisoner. Medical at Gulf Annex, Liberty C.I. and now, Lake Butler Medical Center have all neglected and covered up my injuries.
Seeking Action Under *The Torture Victim Protection Act
In 1993, I was transferred from Apalachee Correctional Institution, after being held in confinement for months, to Florida State Prison, without being notified as to why I was being held in confinement or why I was transferred to the most violent prison in the state. A Jacksonville paper described the conditions there as worse than prisons in Third World countries.
The infamous Captain Thornton, (aka "Big Red") who was a defendant in the beating death of inmate Valdez, was still a Sergeant in 1993. Upon my arrival at Florida State Prison in Starke, Florida., Sergeant Thornton inventoried my property and strip-searched me while two inmates waited in the same property room. There were at least two Sergeants there, as well as other officers. The Property Room Sergeant's name was Gray.
Florida State Prison held the most violent prisoners shipped there from all over the state; the majority of the population were sent there for raping inmates, raping D.O.C. officials, riots, stabbing inmates and guards. These were supposedly the very worst inmates in the Florida Prison system and I was transferred there on a van by myself without any disciplinary reports against me, nor any notice as to why I was being transferred hundreds of more miles away from my family to the very worst prison in the state.
When I was placed in a population wing, I was threatened several times that I would be raped and killed by these inmates. I only weighed 160 pounds, and had already won a new trial before being transferred to Florida State Prison and was waiting to be transferred back to my county for the new trial.
Only through the protection of my God did I survive without being raped or killed. I was placed in a Protective Custody wing. I was housed on this wing for the next two and a half years before my new classification officer, Mr. Goldberg, told me for the first time ever that he had looked at my inmate file and found that I had been transferred from Apalachee Correctional Institution to Florida State Prison under investigation for (deliberately removed).
SHUFFLED PRISON TO PRISON
After two and a half years of living on a Protective Custody wing, I was transferred across the road to Union Correctional Institution in Raiford, Florida where lots of inmates from Florida State Prison had also been transferred and spread the word about the label that had been placed on me. Soon I had two fights, and each time I went before the Board of Classification officers I explained why I was being attacked by these inmates, and each time they turned a deaf ear to me.
The third time I was assaulted by an inmate, he threw chemicals in my eyes and I almost lost one eye due to the chemicals. This time, when the Board of Classification saw how my head and eye was wrapped in bandages, they put me in for a transfer.
At Cross City Correctional Institution, I saved two 17-year-old boys from being raped by inmates, they complained to guards and again, I was placed in confinement and investigated by Sergeant (deliberately removed). I had only been at Cross City Correctional for about three months and was transferred from confinement to Columbia Correctional Institution in Lake City, Florida.
BECOMES A "SECURITY THREAT" AT COLUMBIA CI
At Columbia, I witnessed a 17-year-old kid being beaten by six guards for locking himself in a shower. One of these guards was Captain Loues, some were Sergeants. After witnessing Captain Loues beat this 130 pound kid with a mop handle, and after all six guards jumped on the kid and cuffed him, they ran his head into the wall.
Being sickened at such an unprovoked use of excessive force, I had a statement of fact typed by a friend of mine on the outside and copies sent to me, and I began mailing the copies to the FBI and State Senators, as well as to others. All six guards should have been fired and charged with Hate Crimes. Instead, these guards lied in their reports, stating that the kid, who was to go home in two months, assaulted these six officers, so for this he was written up in disciplinary reports and placed in confinement and served at least another year in prison.
Copies of my statement of fact were caught by the mailroom officer, Miss Uphaus, and she confiscated them. She reported the letters I was sending out and I was locked in confinement and wrote a disciplinary report for "Possession of Contraband." This was written for my possession of religious literature. Disciplinary report was written 3/17/98.
The last line of this disciplinary report reads, "It should be further noted that inmate is . . . a security threat and is currently on file on the (OT 24) Data base screen."
While I was in confinement for possession of religious literature, Captain Loues kicked on my cell door and threatened me through the window of the door for reporting his assault on the 17-year-old, Cory Griffin. My room mate at the time was (deliberately removed) when Captain Loues made his threats.
I had many problems with the mailroom from this time on and wrote grievances against Ms. Uphaus for rejecting my incoming religious mail, and for not returning the aforementioned outgoing mail, the statement of fact against officers beating Cory.
Bob Posey was a Law clerk at Columbia C.I., he is also a director over the Florida Prison Legal Perspective, P. O. Box 660-387 Chuluota, FL 32766; e-mail: email@example.com.
Bob was helping me prepare a civil suit against Ms. Uphaus for confiscating my U.S. mail to a public official. Guards got wind of this and transferred me to Calhoun C.I. in Blountstown, Florida.
As usual, with the D.O.C. Gang, word was sent ahead by phone or computer, and as I sat with a couple dozen other new arrivals, my name was the first called to have my property inventoried by Sergeant Maloy, Helen #MHE03, and Lt. Lasseter, Patsy #LPY01.
Lt. Lasseter picked up my religious material and asked Sergeant Maloy, "What is this?" Lt. Lasseter stacked up all of my religious material, including a Holy Bible and asked me if I wanted to send the property home or throw it away? I stated, "neither, I want a confiscation slip and I will grieve it." Lt. Lasseter then cuffed me and placed me in confinement where I served 30 days for causing a disruption among inmates. This occurred right off the bus!
For the next year, there were many problems with Sergeant Maloy, as she was over the mailroom. I wrote several grievances against her violations of due process, as she would return mail, especially religious mail to sender. One grievance against her was due to the fact that she stopped a complaint I wrote against her from going out to the U.S. Marshals Office, she even got the head of classification, Mr. Duce, involved and he made some threats against me if I continued to try and change the way they did things!
Sergeant Maloy even confiscated my discovery material from the Public Defender's Office when it came in the mail. Again, she got Mr. Duce involved and he took the mail from the Public Defenders' Office and stored it in his office and said he would put me on call-out and I could review the legal discovery material in his office, but he would never place me on call-out and he sabotaged my post conviction appeal.
On 4/29/00, C.O. Owens, Larry #OLR02 was threatening me not to write anymore grievances when he cuffed me, slammed me against a wall face first, then elbowed me in the jaw, braking my jaw, and then locking me in confinement, giving me a disciplinary report for "spoken threat."
While I was at Reception & Medical Center in Lake Butler, Florida getting treatment for the broken jaw, I was given another disciplinary report for "Lying to Staff," due to my reporting officer Owens breaking my jaw, which he denied! This second disciplinary report was written by Lt. Lasseter, it carried 60 days in confinement, plus loss of gain time.
Warden Peacock, and Head of Classification, Mr. Duce, had both warned me about writing grievances or I would wind up where nobody could help me. When I was returned from the Medical Center at Lake Butler and served 60 days through the hottest part of summer in a cell without proper ventilation, Mr. Peacock and Mr. Duce called me in to give me the news I would be transferring to the place they had predicted and which they had chosen! I was transferred to Gulf Correctional Institution in Wewahitchka, Florida.
Upon my arrival, I was taken into an office by Lt. Lasseters' son, Sergeant Lasseter, who told me if I wrote one grievance at Gulf, he would "personally kick my ass!"
So I was sent to this Institution in order to stop my filing a civil suit against Officer Larry Owens for breaking my jaw, and Head of Classification, Mr. Duce for sabotaging my appeal by confiscating my legal papers needed for my appeal!
Again, word was sent ahead so that upon arrival, I was labeled that I was someone who would fight to preserve his Constitutional Rights through writing grievances.
On 11/22/00, Sergeant Hudson, ransacked my cell, kicked my lock several times, attempting to break into my locker. This was witnessed by David Buzingham, cell G4-113U, and (deliberately removed) cell G4-111U.
On 11/26/00, Sergeant Hudson entered my cell and ordered my room mate, (deliberately removed)(released, on probation in Sarasota) to leave the cell. He then stated that he had been reading my outgoing mail, as I should know, I was being closely observed by all personnel.
It should be further noted here, Florida D.O.C. started a state-wide policy in 1999 that uniformed officers will no longer empty the out-going mail boxes. Three Institutions that I know of still violate this new rule to this day, 9/11/04, RMC-Lake Butler, Gulf Main Unit, and Gulf Annex.
Officers at these institutions read the outgoing mail in order to prevent prisoners from writing about assaults and other violations by officers. While Sergeant Hudson was in my cell on 11/22/00, he stated that he was going to "case me up, place me in confinement and kick my ass, mace and starve me!"
I immediately reported these threats to my family by phone which is recorded by the Florida D.O.C. I also reported the same to the Institutional Inspector. As soon as Sergeant Hudson got wind of my reports, he and Sergeant Johnson, came to my cell and cuffed me, saying that I must not know where I was and that I must have thought he was joking.
Two false disciplinary reports were issued to place me in confinement. I was transferred across the road to Gulf Annex confinement where Sergeant Hudson's brother, Sergeant Faison worked in the confinement wing in which I would be held.
The first thing I noticed from my cell was Sergeant Smith taking part of my personal property and placing it into a pillow-case that Officer Browning held open for him. Inmate Pennington told me, from his cell above me, through the air vent, that the officers' regularly steal property, as they did mine and give it to their snitches.
Sergeant Faisor immediately withheld food from me, and on 12/12/00, Sergeant Faisor and another officer assaulted me in my cell and took personal papers and reports on violations of officers that I had been writing.
I reported the assault the next morning to a male nurse. Florida D.O.C. policy is that pictures are to be taken when a prisoner reports an assault and these pictures sent to Tallahassee; this was not done. Col. Whitfield came to my cell and told me that he had hand-picked the officers working confinement because he knew they would do what needed to be done. I was upstairs at this point and had already witnessed about four officers beating inmate Robert Rowland #796376, (850) 576-0529, (Released on Probation in Tall.) who was in a cell downstairs and across from me and marked on the door, protective custody.
So, I already knew what Col. Whitfield meant by "doing what needed to be done!" Officers that beat Rowland, #796376, were C.O. Browning, C.O. Vathis, C.O. Cordova, and Sergeant Cook.
On 12/13/00, Sergeant Smith entered my cell, followed by C.O. McGlon, and C.O. Vathis. Sergeant Smith told me to take my glasses off, which I did. C.O. McGlon was in the middle with Vathis to my left and Smith to my right. McGlon stated, "you think you're a tough guy?" He struck me with a fist on my left temple and in a split second, Smith and Vathis struck me over the head with their fists. I was knocked to the floor and all three began kicking me as hard as they could; they just kept kicking and kicking. I thought they would kill me, as Valdez was kicked to death.
Edirot's note: See Frank Valdez's true story in the 7th edition of this publication.
I started yelling as loud as I could and they kept kicking and shouted at me to shut up! Sergeant Mashburn was walking this wing, shouting for everyone to stay on their bunks and that if he saw them look out of their cell window's they would be next!
When they finally stopped kicking me, I was laying in urine, blood and feces, and Sergeant Smith, who was the biggest of these white males, weighing over 300 pounds, shouted that this beating was sent by Sergeant Johnson, who was his neighbor. And that if I reported it, they would be back and that it would be worse the next time, but that one way or another, I would learn that they run Gulf C.I. and that there is zero tolerance for grievances being written, that if I mess with one officer, I mess with them all. He also said you talked to Col. Whitfield so you know he will fully back us, so you'll loose every time, you know we read your mail, you have no phone, we have total control, so it's up to you. You see that telling medical got you nowhere, we all stick together here, if you're not one of us, you don't work here and includes the wardens.
The next day, Sergeant Smith and C.O. Browning returned to my cell and reviewed the same information to me again, C.O. Browning hadn't been there the day before, but was now also threatening me. C.O. Browning weighs about 300 pounds.
Sergeant Smith instructed me to write a request to Col. Whitefield retracting all statements against Sergeant Hudson and Sergeant Faisor, with no further action requested. I filled out the request form that Sergeant Smith provided. I dated it that day, 12/14/00. Col. Whitfield responded on 12/14/00 in writing, "noted and forwarded to Institution Inspector.
That day, 12/14/00, I was moved across the wing, to cell P2-221-U. In the cell next to me was Timothy Moore "Patch", a one-eyed inmate that I had heard about while I was at Gulf Main Unit as beating and raping small, weak, inmates, courtesy of Captain Pattrick and Col. Whitfield. The white guy in the cell with "Patch" had just returned from talking to an attorney or someone and "Patch" started beating the guy, stating, "you've been writing people, telling them you're in a cell and being raped by me and that I have AIDS!" "How many people have you told; who did you tell?"
After a day or so, Col. Whitfield came to cell 222-U and I heard "Patch" tell Col. Whitfield, "you don't have to worry about him writing anymore grievances." Whitfield said is that right, what about that attorney you've got breathing down my neck? The guy said, "Ill call him off!"
The guy was let out of confinement and the same day, returned with $45.00 in canteen for "Patch," which is not allowed in confinement, but C.O. Vathis brought "Patch" some packs of tobacco and a lighter, which is not allowed and laughed about the guy dropping stuff off and told Patch that he put the rest in "Patch's" property, except for a soup and a chip, which Vathis said he ate. "Patch" stated that was ok.
I could not see all of my own injuries, as there were no mirrors in the cells. I could feel my head was swollen and my ribs turned every color in the rainbow. I could taste something for months, and I believe something was ruptured inside from all of the kicking. I hurt all over and could barely get in and out of the top bunk.
I don't recall my room mate's name, who only spent a week with me before getting out, but my second room mate was (intentionally withheld).
One of my old room mates, Joshua Rice, had not been placed in a confinement cell downstairs more than 15 minutes when he hung himself with a sheet, out of fear of being placed in a cell with "Patch," as he had been threatened with this.
Joshua Rice was a young, red-haired, male who died from hanging. His mothers' address is: Kristy Johnson, 63 Hinsdale Heights, Hinsdale, NH 03451.
In the three months I served in confinement on three false disciplinary reports, there were about six separate inmate hangings. Joshua Rise is the only one that I knew that died.
The next guy placed in "Patch's" cell, 222-U was (intentionally withheld), (currently at FSP) 17-year-old. Immediately (intentionally withheld) and began kicking the door of the cell next to (intentionally withheld) and me, and screaming, Sergeant Faisor for help, "he's trying to rape me."
Sergeant Faisor came to (intentionally withheld) cell and the inmate stated, "I want to check in to Protective Custody, Sergeant Faisor, Patch is trying to rape me. Sergeant Faisor called (intentionally withheld) a punk and told him to lay down and wear it!
Sergeant Faisor went back to his desk, and the most traumatizing ordeal that I have ever endured, aside from being beat myself by the three guards, was to listen to this 17-year-old kid in the next cell being beaten and raped. There was not one thing Max or I could do to help this kid, no one to call. We could not use a phone, and all mail was read by officers in the wing. And it is true that if you were not a part of the clique, known as the "Cowboys," you don't work there. See, 12/30/99 article from St. Petersberg Times, 336 E. College Ave., Room 105, Tallahassee, Fla. 32301. The article quotes a C.O. at Gulf as saying when he was hired, he was told that part of his job description was to beat inmates, and that everyone including the warden was involved.
There were no cameras in confinement when I served my three months, even though every confinement in the state has had cameras for years. They now have cameras at Gulf Annex confinement, so they now beat inmates at Gulf Annex in other places, such as the confinement Recreation cage.
When officers beat an inmate to death in 1999 at Gulf Main Unit, they just moved most officers involved across the road to the Gulf Annex. If the heat is really on, they will transfer officers or even wardens to Washington Correctional Institution in Pleasant Hill, Florida.
When I was finally able to tell my visitor, in private, for the first time, what I have written here, I let them know that I was afraid if another attempt to report such violations failed like it did when I spoke to the Institutional Inspector that I could be killed!
An inmate named (intentionally withheld) was in cell P2-206-U when I was assaulted in cell P2-205-U, but I could not chance talking to him about it, in fear that he might say something to the officers. Col. Whitfield and classification approved for me to Interstate Compack to Maine, in order to get me out of the state, but they refused to put me in for a transfer to Century C.I. to be near my family.
In March 2001, I started corresponding with attorney James V. Cook, P. O. Box 10021, Tallahassee, Fla. 32302, (850) 222-8080, trying to have him come talk to me, but I couldn't tell him the reasons through the mail.
Finally, the guards got wind that I was talking about the violations going on at Gulf and Captain Patric called me to the center gate and handed me my out-going mail and stated, "You can not send this out!" When I requested to know why, he punched me in the stomach and stated, "You just can't!"
A day or so later, Captain Patric came to my cell before daylight and questioned me about something I wrote in a letter, he asked why I got mad about him returning my mail at the center gate. I told him I didn't know what he was talking about. He stated, "you know what I'm talking about!" My room mate, (intentionally withheld) was in the cell at the time.
At a visit that weekend, I told my visitor things were getting scary and if I didn't call the next Saturday, to call attorney James V. Cook and request him to come see me.
Sure enough, on 2/27/02, I was locked in confinement in the cell in which my old room mate, Joshua Rice, had hung himself to death! Attorney James V. Cook visited me and I explained to him everything that is written here. He went to the Regional Director that day and the Regional Director had me transferred that night to Liberty Correctional Institution in Bristol, Florida.
Before I left Gulf Annex, the Institution Inspector, a female, wrote the details down that are found in this statement. She is the one to whom I originally reported Sergeant Hudson.
I believe it was Inspector J. Keen from Tallahassee that came to see me at Liberty C.I. and gave me a "Lie Detector Test." Mr. Keen questioned me on all of the aforementioned information, and after the test, he stated that I had fooled the machine, but that he didn't believe me because his wife went to school with Col. Whitfield and that Mr. Keen and his wife eat at Col. Whitfields' home, and that Mr. Keen knew that Col. Whitfield was a good man and would not do these things that I had reported.
Immediately, it became clear to me how to this day, they get away with beating and even murdering prisoners at Gulf. It is because Col. Whitfield has personal friends, such as Inspector Keen in Tallahassee that will sweep everything under the rug. At the very most, if things get hot, they just shuffle officers, and even wardens around to other institutions.
At Liberty C.I., I reported my injuries from the assault at Gulf Annex to Dr. Goss, M.D., Chief Health Officer, and L.A. Salvador, Clinical Associate. I requested that an MRI and x-rays be taken of my injuries so that I may receive treatment. They both stated, "we don't give MRI's just because you want them."
All of my health issues have been ignored, leaving me in severe pain. My family wrote letters to the Psychological Department at Liberty, as well as Senior Health Services Administrator, Richard Boyce, requesting that I be examined and x-rayed with MRI, as you can see the disfigurement of my skull on the left side with your naked eye.
I have much pain from both the skull and back injuries received 12/13/00, due to the three large officers assaulting me.
Mr. Boyce responded in two letters, but has taken no action in having the issue here examined and treated. I have been throwing up and have severe pain from what may be a kidney stone on my right side for months. My family called the Warden before Dr. Goss would give me anything for pain, or send me here to the Medical Center in Lake Butler.
I have now written at least two grievances for my injuries being ignored and still, I have not been x-rayed with an MRI. Also, after months of severe pain and vomiting, the kidney has not been treated either.
I have written the ACLU, 125 Broad St., 18th Floor, NY, NY 10004-2400; The Florida Justice Institution, 720 Union Financial Center, Miami, Fla. 33131-2310. They have no time for me. And I can't afford an attorney, as Noriega did when he received inhumane prison conditions, see U.S. v. Noriega 40. F. Supp. 2d 1378 (SD Fla. 1999).
Noriega had ten years knocked off of his sentence. A former West Palm Beach police Lt., Calvin Bryant was awarded $65,000 in damages for enduring a hostile work environment, see, http://www.sun-sentinel.com August 6, 2004. A Native American Indian, Walter Wittington, was awarded an out of court settlement of $158,000 two months ago for a 2003 assault on him at Reception and Medical Center, Lake Butler, Florida. Involved in the assault were Florida D.O.C. Guard Roberson and Sergeant Jerry. Willingon only received bruises in the assault, but this was life threatening due to his heart condition.
Also, another Patch-style assault happened a couple months ago; an inmate assaulted 23-year old Michael Bass #R20955, Okaloosa C.I. with a lock. Splitting his skull in an attempted rape. The doctor said Bass would never be able to speak again. This case has not been settled yet.
I am psychologically traumatized by the sight of beatings, hangings, stabbings, and rapes to others, with myself being physically injured with pain and disfigurement to my head and injury to my back, causing severe pain to my back and right leg, making it very difficult to walk or sleep.
Americans recently saw a small example of American prison guards in the Armed Forces, torturing and murdering prisoners in Iraq, and were very upset at the inhumane treatment.
I have been beaten almost to death trying to preserve my First Amendment Right under the U.S. Constitution; others have received the same or worse. I just had five letters, some containing legal documents withheld for months without notice, then returned to sender without any due process.
Larry Owens, who broke my jaw, has been arrested for numerous house burglaries, and this probably because of who the houses belong to. If the inhumane treatment, even deaths that I've described here really bothers you, then please do not allow it to continue. Stop it!
If you feel moved to bring these violations to justice, please contact me?
(Note: Anyone can e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org, any correspondence and I will forward them immediately!!)
(Name Intentionally withheld) September 11, 2004
(in transition at the moment)
Reception & Medical Center
P. O. Box 628, West Unit
Lake Butler, FL 32054
*The Torture Victim Protection Act
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