police and prisons

If Occupy Philly is Raided

 If Occupy Philly is raided by the police, come to city hall ASAP; bring friends, signs, & support; spread the word. Then meet the following day at 4 p.m. at Rittenhouse Park (19th & Walnut in center city Philadelphia)

Askia Sabur and Tanya Yates’ April 12th pretrial hearing

Yesterday Tuesday April 12th 2011, Askia Sabur and Tanya Yates, 2 victims of recent violent attacks by 19th district cops went to court for a pretrial hearing. After waiting for over four hours for the judge to even show up, the court session started with business as usual. Case after case all involving drugs, their consumption and their sale. Like a plea deal factory worker on a bureaucratic assembly line, Judge Means rubber stamped every coerced plea, sending folks from the most struggling neighborhoods away with the necessary paperwork to facilitate whatever deal the DA chose to offer them.

HRC Prison Report: The News from Inside

Elyse Wilson unable to walk, denied food and medical care at Muncy:   The Human Rights Coalition received a report from Elyse Wilson, a prisoner at the State Correctional Institution (SCI) at Muncy, Pennsylvania on Saturday, February 26th, describing the prison's refusal to provide her necessary medical treatment.  Elyse is unable to walk after a pre-existing back injury worsened. Prison staff refused to take her to the medical department for treatment. As a consequence, Elyse had missed two meals since she cannot walk to the cafeteria.

My Neighbor, Bernie Mac

Among the numerous policies implemented by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, one requires Security Level 5 Inmates to move to a new cell every 90 days. This is one rule peaceful Old Heads on Death Row dread, having to move next to some idiot always running his mouth, trying to act tough, cursing, blasting his television and radio.

All Power to the People’s Courts: The Struggle for Community Control of the Police in West Philly

The black working class is currently leading the way in the development of new forms of revolutionary organization in Philadelphia. This is reflected in the community based People’s Courts that formed in response to the near death beating of Askia Sabur in West Philadelphia on September 3rd, 2010. Askia had not complied with police orders to leave a street corner as he was waiting for his food at a Chinese store in his community, on 55th and Lansdowne.

Lucasville Five Hunger Strike Begins

An interview with author Staughton Lynd

January 3, 2011

In 1993, the maximum security Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Ohio was the site of an historic prisoner rebellion, where more than 400 prisoners seized and controlled a major area of the prison for eleven days. Nine prisoners alleged to have been informants and one hostage correctional officer named Robert Vallandingham, were murdered. Following a negotiated surrender, five key figures in the rebellion were tried and sentenced to death. Known since as the Lucasville Five, they are Namir Abdul Mateen (James Were), Siddique Abdullah Hasan (Carlos Sanders), Bomani Hando Shakur (Keith Lamar), George Skatzes and Jason Robb.

On The Block Radio Stories

DECEMBER 17TH SHOW:Portland and Homeland Security: An Interview with Dan Hendelman of Portland Copwatch

PA Prison Report Headlines.
-Historic prisoners' strike in Georgia shuts down six prisons.
-Jailhouse lawyer held in freezing cell; stripped of legal property in solitary confinement.

In the wake of the arrest of 18-year-old Somali-born Mohamed Osman Mohamud on charges of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction in Portland, we speak with Dan Hendelman of Portland Copwatch about --Portland's status as a city that has rejected becoming a partner of the FBI in its National Joint Terrorism Task Force --Recent FBI surveillance of Hendelman and Portland Copwatch --The fear that the arrest of Mohamud might lead to a stronger collusion between the FBI and local Portland police in future law enforcement efforts in the city.

DECEMBER 24TH SHOW: Police Brutality Case 11.27.10: Naimah Jones

PA Prison Report Headlines.
-Prisoner transferred out of state in retaliation for filing grievances
-Continued solitary confinement torture at SCI Coal Township

On today's show, we continue our documentation of police brutality incidents occurring in the United States with this post of an interview with Inas Shabazz about the recent acts of police brutality against her sister, Naimah Jones, on November 27th. In the early hours of the second day after Thankisgiving, Naimah Jones was choked, thrown to the concrete, and tasered several times in front of her home in North Philadelphia as her children looked on. Her sister asserts that Naimah did not physically resist arrest and the attacks were unjustified.

The attacks were preceded by a verbal exchange between Naimah and a police officer regarding the children she had left locked in her car as went into her home to retrieve some items.

She is facing felony assault charges. Her sister, Inas Shabazz, tells the story.

Please spread widely.


Police impunity in the news

Askia’s beating and the ensuing protests took place in the shadow of a number of other highly publicized moments of State violence.

A little over a year ago, the Daily News reporters broke a story on a series of robberies by a gang of cops, who entered Dominican corner stores, flashed their badges and subsequently cut cables to security cameras before making off with the contents of the cash register.

Police thief Joseph Sulpizio on the Narcotics Strike Force made the front page of the Daily News on December 10th, in a report which cited numerous accounts of the cop robbing homes and individuals in Kensington. After numerous accounts of money being stolen by Sulpizio were reported to the police, he was put under investigation by Internal Affairs only to be released back onto the streets after being interviewed. Instead of charging him with theft (the original charge) Sulpizio was charged with “neglect of duty” for not following proper procedure when detaining someone he had robbed. Sulpizio drives a cruiser marked N142.

West Philly Uprising

On September 3rd police approached Askia Sabur in the doorway of a Chinese Restaurant at 55th and Landsdown where he was waiting for food. Police threw Askia to the ground and subjected him to a storm of violence. For nearly 3 minutes, 6 cops swung down on him with clubs, cracking his skull and breaking his arm in the process. A video recorded from a cell phone shows Askia on the ground, handcuffed by one hand, blows raining down with no indication he was even physically resisting the abuse, let alone attempting to fight off the cops. One cop in an apparent frenzy of rage and violence pulled his gun and pointed it at individuals in the crowd including the person filming. Police then did what they always do after sending someone to the hospital: they pressed charges. For being a victim of the beatdown, Askia was charged with assault on an officer as well as attempted robbery (of the cops baton).

After the Nov 9th hearing in Philly, what does Mumia face, what do we need to do ?

mumia demo


The only legal options that were considered by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, a federal court immediately below the US Supreme Court, at the November 9 hearing were whether Mumia Abu-Jamal is to be executed or get life in prison without parole. The question of Mumia's guilt or innocence and the opportunity of a new trial was not part of this hearing. The Third Circuit decided that issue in March 2008 in a decision made by the same three judges who conducted this hearing.

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