"On December 21, 2016 I was set up for both assault and to have almost all of my personal property permanently taken upon threats to do so by several ranking guards at the Clements Unit in Amarillo, Texas where I am confined."
Please read the entire story here and then do the following on Thursday, January 5--
Warden Kevin Foley
telephone: (806) 381-7080 (you will reach the general switchboard; ask to speak to the warden’s office)
Tell Warden Foley that you have heard of the gas attack on Rashid. Specific demands you can make:
· That Kevin Johnson’s property be returned to him
· That Kevin Johnson’s cell be thoroughly decontaminated
· That Captain Patricia Flowers, Lieutenant Crystal Turner, Lieutenant Arleen Waak, and Corrections Officer Andrew Leonard be sanctioned for targeting Kevin Johnson for retaliation for his writings
· That measures be taken to ensure that whistleblowers amongst staff and the prisoner population not be targeted for any reprisals from guards or other authorities. (This is important because at least one guard and several prisoners have signed statements asserting that Rashid was left in his gassed cell for hours, and that his property should not have been seized.)
Try to be polite, while expressing how concerned you are for Kevin Johnson’s safety. You will almost certainly be told that because other people have already called and there is an ongoing investigation – or else, because you are not a member of his family — that you cannot be given any information. Say that you understand, but that you still wish to have your concerns noted, and that you want the prison to know that you will be keeping track of what happens to Mr Johnson.
The following other authorities should also be contacted. These bodies may claim they are unable to directly intervene, however we know that by creating a situation where they are receiving complaints, they will eventually contact other authorities who can intervene to see what the fuss is all about. So it’s important to get on their cases too:
TDCJ Ombudsman: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Inspector General: 512-671-2480
Let these “watchdogs” know you are concerned that Kevin Johnson #1859887 was the victim of a gas attack in Clements Unit on December 21, 2016. Numerous witnesses have signed statements confirming that he was handcuffed, in his cell, and not threatening anyone at the time he was gassed. Furthermore, he was not allowed to shower for hours, and his cell was never properly decontaminated, so that he was still suffering the effects of the gas days later. It is also essential to mention that his property was improperly confiscated, and that he had previously been threatened with having this happen as retaliation for his writing about prison conditions. Kevin Johnson’s property must be returned!
Finally, complaints should also be directed to the director of the VA DOC Harold Clarke and the VA DOC’s Interstate Compact Supervisor, Terry Glenn. This is because Rashid is in fact a Virginia prisoner, who has been exiled from Virginia under something called the Interstate Compact, which is used by some states as a way to be rid of activist prisoners, while at the same time separating them from their families and supporters. Please contact:
VADOC Director, Harold Clarke
Interstate Compact director, Terry Glenn
Let them know that you are phoning about Kevin Johnson, a Virginia prisoner who has been sent to Texas under the Interstate Compact. His Texas ID # is 1859887 however his Virginia ID # is 1007485. Inform them that Mr Johnson has been gassed by guards and has had his property seized as retaliation for his writing about prison conditions. These are serious legal and human rights violations, and even though they occurred in Texas, the Virginia Department of Corrections is responsible as Mr Johnson is a Virginia prisoner. Despite the fact that they may ask you who you are, and how you know about this, and for your contact information, they will likely simply conclude by saying that they will not be getting back to you. Nonetheless, it is worth urging them to contact Texas officials about this matter.
It is good to call whenever you are able. However, in order to maximize our impact, for those who can, we are suggesting that people make their phone calls on Thursday, January 5.
And at the same time, please take a moment to sign the online petition to support Rashid, up at the Roots Action website: https://diy.rootsaction.org/petitions/prison-activist-gassed-in-clements-unit-prison-texas-law-enforcement-is-violently-out-of-control
Rashid has taken considerable risks in reporting on the abuse he witnesses at the Clements Unit, just as he has at other prisons. Indeed, he has continued to report on the violence and medical neglect to which prisoners are subjected, despite threats from prison staff. If we, as a movement, are serious about working to resist and eventually abolish the U.S. prison system, we must do all we can to assist and protect those like Rashid who take it upon themselves to stand up and speak out. As Ojore Lutalo once put it, “Any movement that does not support their political internees … is a sham movement.”