Tag Archives: Alabama

Body Cam Video: Alabama Mother Unlawfully Arrested After Saying “F The Police”

Arrested by Alabama Cop For Saying Fuck The Police

Body camera video (embedded below) shows a mother and domestic violence victim in Alabama being arrested for saying, “Fuck The Police,” even though it is a legal exercise of free speech that is protected under the First Amendment.

**Scroll down to about the halfway point for the video**
Note: The video and description included within this post was shared with Nevada Cop Block via reader submission. If you have videos, stories, upcoming events/protests, or personal interactions with the police (and/or “justice” system) that you would like to share, send them to us and we will do everything we can to bring it to the attention of the world. In addition, you can visit the Nevada Cop Block resources section for information and links to the rights of citizens when dealing with police, during which you should always be filming.

Date of Incident: Ongoing
Officer Involved: Cpl. (now Sgt.) Youngblood
Department Involved: Millbrook Alabama Police
Chief of Police: P.K. Johnson – (334) 285-5603
Assistant Chief: Johnny Montgomery – (334) 285-5603
Facebook: City of Millbrook on FB

The video submitted for this post is fairly self explanatory and even predictable: two cops from a tiny Alabama town show up presumably to mediate a dispute over childcare issues between a husband and wife. One of the cops begins to feel his authoritah isn’t being properly respected, so he decides to escalate the situation into a confrontation. The mother, who also says she is a domestic violence victim, gets frustrated and decides to legally exercise her freedom of speech by yelling “Fuck The Police.” Cpl. Youngblood responds by making an unlawful arrest based on speech that clearly (and according to the Supreme Court) is protected by the First Amendment.

Beyond that singular incident, Nicole, who submitted the post, details the many abusive acts she says her husband has carried out against her and her children. She also discusses the numerous ways in which he has used his influence with the police, courts, and CPS workers to cover up those abuses and further victimize her.

Hello,

I’m in need of help. When this video (embedded below) took place, I was devastated. The police took no actions. Then my 17 yr. old son was handcuffed and beaten by the police of Millbrook, Alabama while non combative for being a hot head. One officer involved in the act spoke up and told what happened. I was incarcerated at the time and watched as four officers beat my son.

After that horrific incident, my son and I were subjected to judicial abuse. This was so bad that, when my son’s charges were dropped, the juvenile judge made threats to our lives. All of this stems from domestic violence within our living situation, for which I was denied help in Alabama by police countless times. Also the nearest local domestic violence center is “Family Sunshine Center” in Montgomery, Alabama. So, I was forced to stay and deal with it, as the Millbrook police suggested after arriving at my home previously.

I took my arrest to trial, however,  because I was making the case a Black Lives Matter issue, the lawyer I paid refused to represent me in court, quitting with only two days remaining before court. So, I was forced to represent myself at trail with no jury, in which I lost when I told the judge he misunderstood the facts. After spending six months on bail bond hold, I could not escape the escalating abuse.

Horrible, unspeakable things were escalating and the children and I were falling into despair. I was isolated and didnot have a way out. So, I continued to deal with it until my husband came home angry and drew back his fist to hurt our three year old.

I cried out, “Don’t you hit her!” Instead of a punch to the belly, he violently threw her four feet across the room. I rushed to her. Thankfully, she was unharmed and had landed in a U shape on her bum. This was a blessing of the fact she could do cartwheels from age two and now, at age four, has mastered a one handed cartwheel, as well as other flips and jumps. If not for her god given talents, she would have ended up in serious condition.

Afraid to call the Millbrook police, for good reason, I called the Montgomery police, who advised me to call the state troopers. Once I had called the state troopers, I was nicely told by the officer that I was crazy and that the Millbrook police are not out to get me. That they will help you. Cpl. Youngblood, who is the policeman seen arresting me in the video, answered the phone.

I said, “No thank you, I do not need help.” The state trooper then asked if Youngblood would be coming out. He replied, “No, I will send some others. I replied, “Still, no thank you.” After several hours had passed, there was a knock on the door. It was the Millbrook police. I looked out the window and said, “No thank you, go away.”

Instead, they broke into my front door. I screamed and ran, asking them to leave. They refused to go and did not say even one word the whole time. Confused, I tried to calm myself down and speak to the officers. So I sat in the living room on a wing-backed chair. One of the officers moved so close to me that the ring on his belt hung in my face. He also wore a very menacing look on his face.

Then, I turned my face towards the door, scared of what they were going to do to me. I saw Cpl. Youngblood walking into the door and I became even more afraid. At this time, I saw my cell phone sitting nearby and picked it up to record their actions. The close officer backed off a bit and they all stood silently with their hands folded as I cried and begged Cpl. Youngblood to leave. (I still have that video.)

See the video below for the rest of what happened…

After that was over, I knew I needed to get out of there before one of us ended a life. So I called my local home town news station, who gave me the number of the domestic violence shelter. So I called and spoke to a wonderful counselor, who got busy to help me stay alive.

She advised me to call the local child protective services, so I did. She also advised me to tell the truth, so I did. John Holmes, who answered the call, listened to my plea for help. Then he advised me that he would not be coming out to make a report and that I would be held responsible for any abuse found, also.

Devastated that my family was once again in grave danger, I again turned to the Willow Domestic Violence Center in New York. The counselor was shocked at the news of what had happened, but she also had bad news for me again. There was no D.V. shelter for me to go to and they refused to help me escape with five kids.

My husband had returned with the police and gotten the car keys. So I could not leave, being in a very country place. There was no way out and he could kill us at any time. No one would help. The Willow Domestic Violence Shelter counselor said that I must get a police report, at least.

Together, we called the police, the mayor, and a host of other city officials in Millbrook, Alabama. Finally, they sent officers out to take the report without Youngblood. However, when they came to do the report, the male officer put words in my mouth. Afraid to dispute it, I held my tongue. I also have video of this event.

Once I had confirmation that the report was written, the captain of the police department stated that that was all they would do for me and that no investigation or arrest would be made. I was then advised by the New York domestic violence shelter that they could not find any help in the state of Alabama for my family.

If I had a way to get to my hometown of N.Y., they said they could help. With nowhere to go and our lives in danger, my oldest son called a friend. We made plans for him to come back in the AM to make two trips to Montgomery, Alabama to board a Greyhound to New York and that is what we did. There was a rainbow on the day that we left.

Confused, sad, and bewildered with five kids and only 600 dollars, I went to a DV shelter. He went to court and filed for a divorce. I was never made aware of this and he won by default all things and custody of our children. He came to their school in NY and removed them. When the domestic violence shelter found out, moves were made to protect the children. Also, a Child Protective Services investigation was done and he was indicted on all claims.

Court procedures to protect the children were started in New York. The children were assigned a legal guardian, who also agreed that there had been neglect and abuse by their father. I thought we were safe, but due to UCJA laws, the case was moved back to Alabama with safety precautions for the children to return. The children were given a legal guardian and I was to contact her and also the local Child Protective Services, so I did.

When speaking to the legal guardian, she informed me that she was only put on the case to satisfy the court in NY. Also, she said that she had been told by Judge Sibley Reynolds to go speak to my husband and to make a written statement, which she had already written. I then called Child Protective Services, as ordered, and they proceeded to tell me that they have not gotten the judges orders and will not open the case to investigate that Steuben, NY had already investigated. In addition, they said it is up to the Millbrook police to file criminal charges and they will in no way protect our children.

Husband Abuse Alabama Wife Police Courts CorruptionSo, afraid of what was going on, I called the Millbrook police and spoke to Capt. Fields, who told me he was not going to protect me or the kids. He also made a remark that he knows exactly who I am; I’m the woman who doesn’t know how to talk to police. He then proceeded to tell me that I can’t make him do it and NY can’t make him do it. I found out later that the New York police and CPS made a request for prosecution that was also denied by the Millbrook police.

Terrified, with no lawyer to take my case, I called Elmore County court and asked about my case. I was informed that there was not a new case of custody modifications in front of a special master as my court documents said. However, some movement was made on a contempt of court charge in the original default divorce. Knowing now that I was not safe to return, I started to read all the divorce documents.

I noticed my maiden name is wrong, the marriage date is wrong, and I found out that the divorce is not fully dissolved due to us being married in India under the Hindu Marriage Act and because I was not present for any of the divorce proceedings. I can have the case heard in a fair forum. I noticed in court that they use having ties to India against me and put a hold on my passport blocking me from help and assets.

I am in hiding, in fear for my life, afraid of being hurt by police or my abusive husband. Several domestic violence shelters, CPS workers, police, and judges in Steuben County have tried to protect my children and I. They can do nothing more than to personally tell me to hide.

The officials in Alabama won’t listen. He has, with the help of an Alabama court had the two indications of abuse sealed and expunged leaving me having to hide in fear, in order to protect myself and my children. I have looked high and low for help. I have proof of all this. Does anyone out there have any ideas? (This account is really just the basic story lines.)

Thank you,

– Nicole

Related Content on NVCopBlock.org:

  1. LVMPD Caught on Body Camera Admitting They Arrested Man For Singing F*ck The Police
  2. Submit Your Own Story of Police Abuse/Corruption
  3. Help Wanted! How You Can Become Involved With NVCopBlock
  4. #FTP – How and Why You Should Always Film The Police
  5. Press Passes for Independent Media and Freelance Journalists
  6. How to File a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) Request
  7. “Let Me See Your I.D.” Stop and Identify Statutes – Know Your Rights
  8. Beware of Gang Activity in Your Neighborhood!
  9. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: The LVMPD’s Killer Reputation
  10. A Video Compilation of Las Vegas Area Police Brutality
  11. Donate to the Cause – Help Us Help You Fight The Power
2 Comments

Pokemon Go Player Harassed And Then Violently Arrested By Alabama Police Over Bad Headlight

The following post was shared with the CopBlock Network by Joshua Blumenschein, via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

Within his post, Joshua discusses an incident in which he was playing Pokemon Go in the parking lot of a Jefferson’s Restaurant in Jacksonville, AL., which apparently is a prime location to catch certain types of Pokemon. After a short time of doing so, he was approached by Officer Martin of the Jacksonville Police Department, who used the excuse that he has a burned out headlight to find out why he was sitting in the parking lot.

Instead of just doing that or even just giving him a citation for the headlight, Officer Martin acted very aggressive toward Joshua and requested a bunch of his fellow gang members to come out and help harass him. Then when Joshua states that he won’t sign the ticket because they are blinding him with their flashlights and he can’t see to read it, Officer Martin exclaims, “good,” indicating that he was looking for an excuse to arrest Joshua. After that, Joshua is violently pulled from the car and arrested.

Joshua has also indicated that he intends to pursue this matter further, stating:

“I am planning on taking this to other press sources and filing charges and/or a lawsuit.”

Click the banner to submit content to CopBlock.org

Click the banner to submit content to CopBlock.org

Date of Incident: October 27, 2016 around 0100
Officers Involved: Officer Martin – Badge # 136, as well as at least 4 or 5 unidentified officers
Department Involved: Jacksonville (AL) Police Department
Department Phone Number: (256) 435-6448
Department Address: 116 Ladiga St SE, Jacksonville, AL 36265
Department Facebook Page: Jacksonville Police Department

I got off work in Atlanta, GA, drove roughly two hours, then stopped in the Jefferson’s parking lot to catch a Magikarp and a Gastly on Pokemon Go. That area is a nest for water Pokemon due to the creek/ditch. I was pulling forward slowly to search the far side for more Pokemon when I saw flashing lights. I stopped and Officer Martin get out of the cop car.

I slowly opened my door saying “the window doesn’t roll down”.

Martin said, “I need to see your Driver’s License” in a very agressive tone.

I replied, “Is there a problem?”

Martin (being rude and aggressive): “If there wasn’t a problem, I wouldn’t have stopped you”

I handed him my license and waited. Another cop scanned my car with his flashlight and then four or five more cop cars pulled up. I got worried and bored and started live streaming on Facebook Live. The twenty minute clip can be seen here: Facebook Live Video of Arrest.

Martin continued to be unorthodox. I had locked my door and did not feel safe opening it. I was threatened by another officer with going to jail if I did not open it. I dis and Martin was still being rude. He wanted me to sign the two citations, yet was shining his light in my eyes. I refused and within five seconds was dragged out of my car.

  • pokemon-arrest-injuriesThey read me NO rights.
  • Handcuffed me, bent my glasses, and broke my watch.
  • Put me in the police car.
  • They searched my car and trunk. (With all my cosplay gear in it, lol)
  • Proccessed me and put me in a cell, then took me out of the cell and put me in the “drunk tank” holding cell.
  • Gave me NO blanket. I was super cold, but took a nap.
  • Got up and started walking around feeling claustrophobic until they came and let me out.
  • Found out you can get arrested for refusing to sign a ticket (it is the electronic ones that don’t need signed)
  • My car was impounded. (i.e. ~$150)
  • Got four “unsecured appearance bonds:” Obstruction windshield (w/e)
    Headlight out (legit had the light to fix it)
    Resisting Arrest (I was YELLING “I am not resisting”)
    Obstructing Government Operations (how?)
    Total bonds $1600 (w/e that means)
  • Still got the two “citations” (i.e. tickets)
  • I had to walk home with a dead phone and no house keys as they were towed with my car.
  • After examining myself in the miror, I found that I have many injuries on my left side from my ankle to my ear.

– Joshua Blumenschein

Leave a comment

Despite Arrests the “Threat” from Creepy, Scary Clowns has Spread and Multiplied Across the United States

I’ve previously reported on the harrowing and expanding threat that clowns have begun to represent to this country and citizens throughout it. Fortunately, my warnings did not go unheeded and not long ago South Carolina Police Chief Ken Miller promised to get tough on clowns. In order to do so, he indicated he would begin enforcing a law that was already on the books against wearing masks in public. (technically clown makeup isn’t a mask, but you can’t engage in semantics at a time like this.)

Initially, this policy that effectively outlawed clowns seemed to have made some important headway. As fellow CopBlock Network contributor Joshua Hotchkin reported a couple weeks ago, four arrests were made across two states soon after. For a brief moment, the country was able to breathe a sigh of relief, believing that the Great Clown Invasion of 2016 had been thwarted. Predictably, that didn’t last long, though.

That was far from the end of it, as we all know now. Since those initial arrests there have been at least eight more of these painted tormentors have been hauled in on various charges across numerous states. More troubling, the sightings of menacing clowns have not stopped, but in fact have multiplied and spread to at least ten states nationwide.

Another very troubling detail to have emerged within the latest sightings is that the majority of these clowns are reported be driving vans. You might ask yourself what is so dangerous about that and, on the surface, it’s a reasonable question. However, anybody who has been to the circus knows that clowns can use their magical powers to fit at least a dozen of their cohorts into a really tiny car. Just imagine how many clowns are hiding out in something as big as a van. There might be hundreds in there just waiting to spring out and lay waste to your neighborhood. Hell, three or four of them vans would be all they need to overrun a small town.

Check out this report from the New York Times:

The reports to the police had one thing in common with the circus act involving an improbable number of clowns emerging from a small car.

They just kept coming, and coming, and coming, across multiple states. Clowns in vans. Clowns in the woods.

Clowns lurking in the shadows. Clowns chasing people or doing crimes.

Just let that sink in for a minute. What hope is there to stop such a relentless, determined group of pseudo humans bent on destroying society as we know it?

Obviously, the other side of this threat is the speed at which these clowns are able to reproduce. Anybody who has ever worked around Carnies or attended a Ren Faire, the two groups most likely to have been recruited by the Clown Army, has surely glimpsed some aspect of this phenomenon. Both of those sub-genres are known for engaging in 24 hour orgies that only stop (sometimes) when it’s time to perform their drunken acts on some sort of makeshift stage.

Suspected Clown Arrested

Suspected Clown Arrested

There are perilous times ahead for sure. An entire school in Reading, Ohio had to be locked down after a woman reported a clown related attack. One day prior in a nearby town, a young clown was arrested for making threats to school children. Fortunately, the Heroes in Blue protecting Colerain Township were able to nip that one in the bud before it reached full maturity.

Since they originally emerged from their lair in South Carolina, other clown sightings have been reported in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and even on the West Coast in California. Luckily, in Maryland a known and longstanding gang of clowns, who were brazen enough to flaunt themselves at public events, has been forced by the publicity to withdraw from such activities. We can score one for the good guys out there.

That’s obviously just a minor dent in their numbers, though. Earlier this week, several of the Clowns even released a Facebook Live video mocking their pursuers:

Sadly, before I conclude this latest update I even have to report that this scourge upon ‘Merica has very much hit home for me. Last night, KTNV News, the local ABC affiliate for Southern Nevada, reported that a clown had been trying to “friend” students from Chaparral, a Las Vegas high school.

This is dangerous on several levels. First, it’s near me and so that makes it important. Possibly even more troubling though, this means they are learning to use social media. Once these clowns start organizing on the internets, they’ll pretty much become unstoppable. We should all accept that this is probably just a matter of time, at this point.

Fortunately, ABC 7 in Denver is reporting that the FBI and Homeland Security have finally become involved. (The article also includes a handy timeline of the Clown Invasion.) Hopefully, this not a case of too little, too late already. Obviously, this is the (no-clown) human race’s best chance of surviving. “Help us Homeland Security, you’re our only hope!”

Send thoughts and prayers.

Leave a comment

Alabama Sheriff Tyrone Clark Indicted on Ten Charges Related to Prison Drug and Sex Trafficking Ring

Former Sumter County Sheriff Tyrone Clark, who was impeached in July, has now been indicted for his involvement in a drug and sex trafficking ring that was run by an inmate in the Sumter County Prison. The top Bad Apple of Sumter County is accused of providing an inmate, Rodney Coats, access to a private area within the prison’s administration building, as well as a laptop with internet access. Coats used this to run a drug operation outside of the prison.

In addition, Sheriff Clark is accused of keeping a women captive within a trailer. According to the unnamed woman she was forced to provide drugs to Coats and was routinely raped by Coats and by detention officers, as well as Clark. Clark also reportedly gave special treatment to certain inmates and even allowed them to leave the prison in order to perform work on his own house or for his friends.

Via the Montgomery Advertiser:

During his impeachment trial, assistant attorney generals fleshed out a laundry list of allegations against Clark. Most of them centered around Clark’s friendship with Rodney Coats — an inmate at the Sumter County Prison who was made a “trustee.”

While most inmate trustees are low-risk, nonviolent offenders, Coats has eight criminal charges pending against him with a bond totaling $675,000.

A former chief deputy to Clark testified against him at his impeachment trial, stating that Coats had unsupervised access to what was known around the jail as “Coats’ Quarters,” located in the administration building.

Found in “Coats’ Quarters” was a television, bus seats from Clark’s old campaign bus, a couch, a toolbox and a laptop labeled “Sheriff” that Coats used to monitor his drug operation from jail, testimony indicated.

One woman testified that she was held against her will in a trailer controlled by Coats, which was equipped with surveillance cameras that fed into his jail laptop. She said she was regularly made to bring drugs to Coats in his quarters, where he and other detention officers raped her. She also accused Clark of sexual assault.

Clark denied her allegations, as well as being aware that she had been brought to Coats.

Some former inmates testified that Clark let them leave the jail to go work on his house or perform other jobs for community members. Under cross-examination, Clark admitted to knowing this was a crime when he allowed it to happen…

Three of the counts fall under felony ethics violations. Clark is accused of using his public office for private gain in connection to allegedly allowing inmates to work on his private property.

Sumter County District Attorney Greg Griggs said the other charges are as follows:

  • Two separate counts that forbid sheriff from using county inmates from working on personal property (one count for each home)
  • First-degree promoting prison contraband
  • Second-degree promoting prison contraband
  • Criminal conspiracy to commit a controlled substance crime
  • First-degree human trafficking
  • First-degree perjury, which stems from alleged false testimony Clark gave to a Sumter County Grand Jury

Local Video Coverage of Sheriff Clark Being Arrested

Leave a comment

Three U of A Students Assaulted by Alabama Cops With Batons And Tazers on Video

University Alabama Student Arrest Video
Three (unnamed) police officers in Tuscaloosa, Alabama have been suspended (with pay) after video surfaced of them assaulting and tazing a group of University of Alabama students. At the time of the attack, they were responding to a noise complaint, apparently involving loud music.

Multiple videos taken from different angles show the officers ordering one of the students out of an apartment, then pushing their way into the doorway and grabbing him when he asks why he is being arrested. He’s subsequently pulled outside, tazered, and then hit in the back by another cop with a baton.

Meanwhile, a female student inside the apartment, who can be heard complaining about the treatment of the first student, is told to “shut your fucking mouth” by one of the officers.

Eventually, three students were arrested on various charges, including obstruction, resisting arrest, and ironically enough harassment.

Via the New York Daily News:

Several bystander videos captured the tense arrest at an apartment complex a block from Bryant-Denny Stadium hours after the Crimson Tide football team beat the Louisiana State University Tigers.

Tuscaloosa police booked Brandon James Williford, 21, Matthew Gimlin Macia, 22, and Caroline Elizabeth Giddis, 22, on obstructing governmental operations charges, according to police. Williford and Macia were also charged with resisting arrest and Williford and Giddis also face harassment charges.

University of Alabama Students Arrested VideoThe video of the arrest shows an officer standing in the doorway of an apartment demanding to come inside before barking orders at one of the men to step outside.

He then snatched at the man’s shirt as a woman shouted “Don’t treat him like that” in protest. Another officer told that woman to “shut your f—ing mouth” as she cried hysterically during the arrests.

The officer standing at the doorway accused the man of grabbing his arm.

“You’re under arrest for harassment for grabbing my arm,” the officer bellowed. “I’m going to ask you one more time to get outside. Get outside now.” The man’s friends challenged the officer’s demands by asking if he was “being arrested or detained” and if so, the charges.

In another angle from outside the apartment, the officer barges through the doorway after someone inside the home tried to shut the door, prompting at least two more cops to storm in after him.

The officer then dragged the male resident outside, tackled him to the ground and deployed his stun gun on him. Another officer battered the man’s back with a baton. The footage shows a second man getting shoved to the ground beside him.

Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steve Anderson referred to the incident as a “black eye” for the city and police department. He is reportedly “deeply disturbed” by the video.

At a news conference on Monday, Chief Anderson pledged a full “investigation” into the officer’s actions and implored Tuscaloosa residents not to fear the police, stating:

“Do not be afraid of calling the Tuscaloosa Police Department. Do we always get it right? No, but there’s no need to fear us or fear our officers.”

Of course, Alabama is a state where cops get into fights with and then pepper spray each other. It’s also where a man was recently sexually assaulted at gunpoint by a police officer after being pulled over based on a noise complaint, which is the same reason the Heroes on this video showed up at the student’s apartment.

So, perhaps this might just be the latest reason for people to think twice about calling the police in Alabama. Plus, we all know quite well how these “full investigations” usually turn out once the media spotlight fades away.

Leave a comment

After Workplace Spat, Alabama Police Officer Arrested For Pepper Spraying Another Cop

Officer Shaun Deane AL Pepper Spray
I’m sure you’ve heard the popular Gandhi quote:

“First they ignore you,
then they laugh at you,
then they fight each other,
then everyone wins (and we all laugh).”

I’m pretty sure that’s how it goes anyway. But even if not, a cop in Alabama did a great job of illustrating how appropriate that version would be.

According to reports, he was arrested for pepper spraying a cop from another precinct after getting into some sort of dispute while attempting to pick up records at that precinct. He’s been charged with “use of a noxious substance.”

Via the New York Daily News:

Shaun Deane of the Birmingham Police Department had come to the other officer’s precinct looking for a report, according to WBRC. An angry Deane allegedly threatened to put the other officer in a body bag.

“This officer opens up his cannister, his holster for mace and pulls his mace out and puts it in my face,” the unidentified victim said in an interview with WBRC. “I look at him and I made a statement to him. Told him he’s not gonna do anything and before I could even get my statement out he had already applied the spray to my face…”

“There were some questions whether it was intentional or horseplay, but regardless it was inappropriate behavior that was a violation of department policy,” Sgt. Bryan Shelton told the local ABC affiliate. “An investigation was conducted and disciplinary actions were taken.”

The second officer told the station he was “blown away” by what happened.

“I couldn’t even wrap my mind around what was really happening,” he told WBRC. “I could possibly be able to process the situation if it would have been a citizen, but this was a fellow officer. It took me to a place in my mind that I couldn’t even process at that time.”

The online reports don’t actually say why Officer Deane was angry. However, cops do tend to be angry pretty much all the time and often for random reasons that don’t make any sense to normal people. So, there’s no guarantee that a logical explanation exists for his motivation.

BTW, Deane is accused of putting his hand on his gun prior to using the pepper spray. If you really want to hammer home to yourself just how cray cray (that’s a medical term, look it up) some cops are, watch the video embedded below where the officer who was pepper sprayed is being kept anonymous, including having his physical appearance and voice altered to avoid potential retaliation.

WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Leave a comment

Man Sexually Assaulted at Gunpoint by Alabama Police Officer After Noise Complaint

Deonte-Hamner-Montgomery-Sodomy
Officer Deonte Lashawn Hamner of the Montgomery Police Department was arrested and charged with sexual assault after he stopped a man on a noise complaint on June 9th. According to the arrest report, he then forced the driver to perform oral sex on him at gunpoint.

It’s not actually clear in the account posted at KCTV5.com whether a real noise complain was made or if that was just used as an excuse to stop his victim. In the video (embedded below) at their site, they describe the incident as Ofc. Hamner having, “abused his power to take advantage of another man,” which implies that the latter might be the case.

Via WSFA12.com, the local NBC affiliate in Montgomery:

A Montgomery police officer has been arrested and charged with sexual assault of an adult male while he was on duty.

The officer, 27-year-old Deonte Lashawn Hamner, was arrested Tuesday on a felony first degree sodomy charge. He was taken to the Montgomery County Detention Facility where he’s being held on a bond of $60,000.

Deonte Hamner Montgomery Sexual AssaultMPD initiated its investigation Tuesday (June 14th) after receiving allegations of sexual assault involving an on-duty police officer. The assault is alleged to have occurred after the officer stopped the victim’s vehicle relative to a noise complaint.

KCTV5

Leave a comment

Uncompensated Forced Labor Within Prisons Leads to a Modern Day Slave Uprising in Texas

This post was written by  and originally published at the Center For a Stateless Society (C4SS) under the title “Modern Slave Uprisings.” Posts and other content you think are worth sharing with the CopBlock Network can be sent in to us via the CopBlock.org Submissions Page.

(Note: This has been posted in its original form and no edits to the original text were made. Some links may have been added within the text and images have been added. In addition, the conclusions expressed within this initial introductory summary represent my own interpretation of what is being stated within Logan’s own writings.)

In the post below, Logan discusses a series of strikes among inmates within Texas prisons. He also discusses the reasons behind those strikes and the nature of prison labor that is being imposed upon those inmates. Essentially, that forced work and the lack of compensation for that work amounts to a modern day version of slavery.

Modern Slave Uprisings

Incarcerated Prisoners“Texas’s prisoners are the slaves of today, and that slavery affects our society economically, morally and politically,” stated the five-page letter put out by the Industrial Workers of the World’s Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee (IWOC) announcing the prison strike. “Beginning on April 4, 2016, all inmates around Texas will stop all labor in order to get the attention from politicians and Texas’s community alike.” And despite advanced notice given to the prisons and many threats of violence and retaliation aimed at potential strikers, at least seven prisons went on strike, with prisoners refusing to leave their cells and work, to demand an end to modern day slavery. In effort to quash the strikes, several prisons went into complete lockdown, forcing prisoners to stay in their cells with no lights, visitors, phone calls or access to educational or recreational resources, and little more than the occasional sandwich to ward off hunger, while denying the existence of such strikes to the outside world. They’re instead claiming that the prison-wide lockdowns are only one of two regularly scheduled prison lockdowns and searches conducted a year and have nothing to do with “alleged” strikes, thus forcing this story into a media blackout.

According to Texas law, inmate workers are not required compensation for their labor. The fact that work for able-bodied inmates is required under threat of punishment reveals itself as modern day slavery. Add to this the all too real images of armed guards, some on horseback, and incarcerated workers, disproportionately people of color, in the Texas heat on prison farms picking everything from vegetables to, in a throwback to the olden days of classic American slavery, cotton. And prisoners aren’t just saying that these conditions resemble slavery or are a resurrection of such practices but are in fact a direct continuation of pre-Civil War slavery. Even the 13th amendment said to abolish slavery specifically states, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States,” thus insuring that prison slavery stayed completely legal.

Prisons SlaveryPrisoners are put to work doing laundry or janitorial work, making clothes, mattresses, shoes, garments, brooms, license plates, printed materials, janitorial supplies, soaps, detergents, furniture, textile, and steel products. Texas prisoners grow at least 24 different crops and care for 10,000-head herd of cattle. They also run pork and beef slaughterhouses and a vegetable cannery. Texas Correctional Industries forces inmates to make a variety of products which are sold to public schools, hospitals, and government agencies including police departments, “from hand soap to bed sheets, from raising livestock to making iron toilets and portable buildings.” Not only does the company not pay workers, little if any of the money made by these slave labor using corporations goes back towards the operating costs of the prison which essentially means it doesn’t even lower the taxes currently forcibly taken from taxpayers who are carrying the burden of paying for the daily expenses of this corporate slavery scheme. And with overpriced phone calls and a statewide inmate copay of $100 for any medical services, inmates are having to rely on outside help or go without. Even in prisons that do pay workers a few cents an hour, prisoners have to save up for months, even years, to cover basic expenses.

The striking prisoners have issued five demands: 1) compensation for their labor in the form of payment and accrued Good/Work Time, applied retroactively, as well as usage of a “presumptive parole system” which requires inmates to be released at their earliest possible release date, 2) the repeal of the $100 medical copay, 3) the right to be appointed an attorney on habeas corpus cases, 4) the establishment of an independent TOCJ Oversight Committee to review grievances, and 5) humane living conditions and treatment including access to quality food and water, installation of air conditioning, repairs to cracks and leaks in roofs, extermination of roaches and other pest infestations, access to adequate medical care, better access to vocational and educational resources, alleviation of overcrowding, an end to prisoner verbal, physical, and sexual harassment, and the reduction in the use of solitary confinement. Currently, approximately 7000 prisoners are subjected to solitary confinement at any given moment in Texas with some staying in solitary for upwards of 20 years.

One mother of an inmate whose son’s prison is on lockdown showed her support saying, “My son and others are literally sitting down to say, ‘Stop killing us. Stop enslaving us. We are human. This has got to stop, I think the strike should spread. I believe prisoners and families together have the power to collapse this system.”

And that spread is happening with Alabama inmates going strike this past May Day. Ohio, Virginia, Mississippi, and Florida have also joined the effort and many prisoners across the US are now calling for a series of coordinated strikes to take place on September 9th, the 45th anniversary of the Attica prison riot. For information on how to help please contact IWW Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee at [email protected] or 816-866-3808.

Leave a comment

Building More Prisons is Not the Solution to Prison Riots

This post was written by and originally published at the Center For a Stateless Society (C4SS) under the title “More Prisons is Not Reform.” Posts and other content can be submitted to the CopBlock Network via the CopBlock.org Submission Page. (Note: This has been posted in its original form and no edits to the original text were made.)

This post relates to recent riots within the United States prison system and specifically two riots at Holman Prison in Alabama, which took place in March of this year. Nick makes the point that it’s the underlying problems and abuses within the prison system itself and not just the singular symptom of overcrowding that caused those riots. Building even more prisons (which inevitably will also be filled to beyond capacity) is not the answer to those issues.

Previous posts by Nick Ford that have been shared on CopBlock.org can be found here, here, and here. If you appreciate the things Nick has written, you can support him directly here.

More Prisons is Not Reform

Holman Prison in Alabama is home to death row and many there have little to lose should something go wrong. Given the degrading conditions of prisons and their lack of security for prisoners, it should come as no surprise that riots took place on March 11th and 14th.

The first riot happened when a prison guard was stabbed during a fight between two inmates. A prison fire was subsequently started by inmates so they could get access to another part of the prison. The riot included 100 inmates and went from Friday night into Saturday morning before control was re-established and the prison put on lockdown.

An inmate who was interviewed by WHNT 19 News over the phone explained, “What [the officer] did was not professional. They teach them not to do what he did. He went in swinging his stick and throwing inmates around. You know, if you try being in prison for 20 years, people get tired of seeing their fellow convicts get treated that way.”

On Monday while Holman was still on lockdown, an estimated 70 inmates barricaded themselves in a dormitory room after the stabbing of another inmate. WKRG News was able to get a phone call with an inmate there who “said inmates are fed up with deteriorating conditions and overcrowding within the prison system, something even Governor Robert Bentley has acknowledged is a serious issue in Alabama.”

Unfortunately the answer by both Bentley and media like Alabama.com has been to build more prisons.

Bentley and others agree that the riots are symptomatic of a system that isn’t working. But instead of trying to reduce sentences, challenge discriminatory practices or expand alternatives we’re given the choice to expand prisons.

Then again it shouldn’t be surprising that the response from the people in power to necessary and radical action on the part of inmates is milquetoast at best. Yes, the riots were necessary, despite perhaps being inadvisable. Prison riots are acts of desperation that will more naturally occur under such brutal and repressive systems. There’s no need for moral condemnation of the inmates; desperate people act desperately in an attempt to become empowered.

The proposed expansion of prisons from Bentley includes, “merg[ing] the state’s maximum security prisons — about 14 in all — into six prisons, four of them new.” But suspiciously Bentley has also pushed for a one-time exemption for letting a single company build these new prisons. The inevitability of sweetheart deals is much too great to be surmounted by well-meaning liberals.

Governor Bentley thinks focusing on older prisons and merging some will help save money. As true as this may be it still won’t bring back all of the casualties that the Alabama system has caused.

One casualty was death row inmate Timothy Jason Jones. Jones committed suicide in 2006 before he could be sentenced to death for a murder conviction. Jones was a drug user, aggressive, and shied away from his responsibilities by fleeing the scene.

But instead of trying to understand him, prosecutors called him a “monster” and confined him in a locked cell where he eventually killed himself. My point isn’t that Jones was a good person but that instead of giving him the chance to prove he could’ve been the state decided he’d be better off rotting in a cell.

There are are other ways to deal with justice.

Organizations like Common Justice and Community Works West both specialize in alternative forms of justice and specifically transformative and restorative justice. These organizations help inmates feel they can still successfully contribute meaningful things for themselves and their communities. They involve prisoners in their local communities and try to encourage meditation as ways to address underlying issues of crime. As organizations they may not deal with death row inmates specifically but their promise is great.

The success of these models helps release pressure from the overcrowded and bloated prison systems that the inmates expressly used as one of their underlying motivators. If we can help build alternatives to prisons that use positive collaboration instead of fear and dread, perhaps we can begin to more meaningfully address overcrowding.

Instead of expanding prisons, let’s work to expand alternatives.

Leave a comment

Shifting Prisoners to New “State of the Art Facilities” Won’t Eliminate Prison Abuse

This post was written by and originally published at the Center For a Stateless Society (C4SS) under the title “Tutwiler Prison Will Live On.” Posts and other content can be submitted to the CopBlock Network via the CopBlock.org Submission Page. (Note: This has been posted in its original form and no edits to the original text were made.)

This post relates to the impending closure of Julia Tutwiler State Women’s Prison, a facility located in Montgomery, Alabama that is notorius for rampant sexual abuse and other types of abuse, as well. Much like the clamoring for the closure of the detention center located at Guantanamo Bay, the perception is that simply shifting its residents to an alternate location will somehow eliminate those abuses, even though in reality the only real change will be geographical.

Tutwiler Prison Will Live On

Content Warning: Discussions of rape and sexual abuse

After over two decades of abuse, Julia Tutwiler Prison, located in Montgomery Alabama, will close. After almost two decades of prison guards sexually assaulting, abusing and raping inmates, Tutwiler prison will be closed. After nearly two decades of investigations, reformist legislature, promises on the part of the prison to improve, Tutwiler prison will close.

But Tutwiler prison will live on.

The governor of Alabama, Robert Bentley, has said in a speech that Tutwiler prison will be closed so that Alabama may have a “complete transformation of the state’s prison system.” But adds that “These aging prisons will be consolidated and replaced by four, newly constructed state of the art facilities.”

And so Tutwiler prison will live on.

Tutwiler prison maintained its rampant sexual abuse even after a 2004 bill, advocated for by Amnesty International and the C4SS’s own Charles Johnson, had been passed. The bill was aimed at terminating and prosecuting abusive guards. But within the span of 2009-2013 only 18 cases of sexual abuse were reported in a prison well known for its widespread abuse.

As Charles Johnson notes, “the first basic obstacle is no matter how unambiguously written and strongly worded the law is, it is always nearly impossible ever to safely try to get a[n abusive guard] prosecuted from inside your cell. … The same overwhelming, full-spectrum life-and-death domination that facilitates the endemic, repeated rape also makes it impossible to defend yourself from them through legal processes.”

Removing this dynamic from prisons would mean prison abolition. And since we can safely presume Governor Bentley doesn’t believe in prison abolition, it’s safe to say that Tutwiler will live on.

Last year the US Department of Justice reported that Tutwiler had a population of women living in constant fear. They were in a highly-sexualized environment where abuse was so rampant that the prison was found to be in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

But all prisons are cruel and unusual.

Because of the aforementioned dynamics between prison guards and prisoners there will always be abuse and a reluctance to prosecute the abuse. In Tutwiler, reports from victims were discouraged by perceived or actual retaliation from prison guards. Guards at Tutwiler were often allowed to resign instead of being terminated. And thus were able to easily reintegrate themselves into another prison.

In this way too, Tutwiler Prison shall live on.

To make matters worse, the claims by victims of sexual abuse were frequently dismissed as the rantings of mentally ill patients. Polygraphs, known for their unreliability, were used as primary means to determine the validity of an accusation. Most insultingly, if the prisoners said it was consensual, then it was treated as such. And all of this only happened if an investigation actually occurred after an accusation, which it more often than not didn’t.

Treating accusations like this is not uncommon in prisons. A place where the abusers hold supreme power and have he legal system backing them engenders little accountability. Abusive prison guards are akin to police officers accused of murder in that they’re rarely indicted for, let alone convicted of crimes.

So, as you might expect, Tutwiler will live on.

ABC 33/40 recently reported that the Lovelady Center in Birmingham will take more than 100 inmates from Tutwiler. Lovelady is a rehabilitation facility for female convicts. But it’s also “faith-based treatment for women” and aims at converting the female convicts to Christianity.  Anyone who is either non-religious or isn’t interested in being proselytized is likely to feel excluded.

The rest of the women who will not be taken into those relatively merciful hands teeming with religious indoctrination will suffer in other ways. They may end up another number in recidivism statistics, or if they are freed, deal with the social isolation that comes with being a convict. Given that some will have their votes taken away, their job opportunities diminished and incredible social stigma, do you think they’ll stay out of prison for long?

Through these aftereffects, Tutwiler will live on.

And it will continue to live on until we abolish prisons.

Leave a comment