The Faults of the American Criminal Justice System Run Deeper Than Race





PhD student, Harvard University




For those continually exasperated by the spate of white denials of racism in the face of blatantly racist police killings, the #CrimingWhileWhite stories on Twitter were a gratifying rebuttal. By offering a mountain of testimony in the form of direct race-based compare-and-contrast stories, the meme undermined the country’s pernicious refusal to acknowledge that perhaps, just perhaps, it might be good to be in the upper caste. In making explicit what all secretly know to be true, an honest conversation seemed at last to be occurring.

But one thing remains puzzling about the picture being painted by #CrimingWhileWhite tweets: Who are all these people who have had such positive interactions with cops? Many poor white people might be surprised that “Criming While White” apparently gets one a free pass, and so would the large population ofregularly-brutalized homeless people in my own hometown of Sarasota, Florida. The problem with the concept, then, is not that it gives priority to white voices, as some argued, but that it reinforces the myth that the police can have some trace of benevolence, that there is an ideal justice system in miniature lurking beneath the visible one. In doing so, it prevents a full reckoning with American criminal justice’s corrosive faults, and limits possibilities for altering it.

The fact is that a bloated, unaccountable police force victimizes a wide swath of people, and that being a member of a privileged race is not always protection. Certainly it wasn’t for Kelly Thomas, the homeless man killed by Fullerton, California police officers. As the schizophrenic Thomas had the life beaten out of him behind the Slidebar Rock-N-Roll Kitchen, he called out hopelessly for his father: “Dad…Dad…Dad.” Thomas didn’t fare any better than Eric Garner, except that his officers were put on trial — before being acquitted.

And so, as the #Criming tweeters painted their picture of an Andy Griffith world of policing, in which whiteness means the local sheriff laughs off your latest teen indiscretion and drops you at your parents’ doorstep, it didn’t quite ring true. The fact is that unless you are both white and wealthy, the police are a largely antagonistic force.

Of course, the level of mistreatment and violence against blacks is unparalleled. But if a theory is to hold, it must be able to deal with exceptional cases, such as the death of a mentally-ill white man at the hands of a Hispanic police officer. If the problem with the American criminal justice system is that it is racist, how can one explain such an incident except as an aberrational absurdity? But it is not an aberrational absurdity; it is a core reality of contemporary criminal justice.

Constitutional law professor James Forman has pointed this out in critiquing the concept of “The New Jim Crow.” As Forman puts it, “The Jim Crow claim is, at the end of the day, an appeal to the base — a metaphor with great potential to mobilize blacks and racial justice advocates to care about mass incarceration. But it comes at a cost — namely, the analogy does not encourage other racial groups to recognize that, on this issue, black interests coincide with their own.” Kelly Thomas didn’t have any better luck on account of his race, nor did Dillon Taylor, the unarmed white man gunned down by Salt Lake City police in August, or Robert Saylor, the man with Down’s syndrome asphyxiated by deputies when he refused to leave a movie theater. The homeless and mentally ill of either race, and many poor people generally, can report that life is no #CrimingWhileWhite picnic. The undesirable and excluded are universally subjected to the policeman’s billy club.

Not accepting this important nuance could have devastating consequences for a movement. If analysis begins and ends at “Black lives matter,” what becomes of the Muslim lives continually under police surveillance since 9/11? The homeless lives who are under daily harassment? The brown lives threatened by a ruthless deportation regime? The more than 200,000 women’s lives in America’s prisons?

Furthermore, if exorcising racism is taken to be the sole objective, campaigners might be at risk of getting exactly what they wish for: police will diversify their ranks and reduce the ugly racial statistical imbalance, yet ultimately will become not a shred less vindictive, violent, and unaccountable.

This same trap occurs in discussions of the American death penalty. We can say the death penalty is racist, which is true. But ending our diagnosis there means leaving open the possibility for the state to simply iron out the disparities: as long as people are being executed without regard to their race, there can be no problem. We lack a framework to deal with the case of Scott Panetti, the hideously mentally ill white man under threat of execution in Texas. The point that should be being made is that the death penalty is wrong because it is immoral, not wrong because it is racially disparate. Similarly, American policing must be condemned, not only because it continues Jim Crow, but because it is an uncontrollable, militarized, and yes, racist leviathan that tramples the vulnerable to death without consequence.

This does add a small amount of complexity to the post-Ferguson project. But it should not be difficult to simultaneously hold the twin beliefs that criminal justice is racial in nature and that there is an economic elite who enjoy advantages that the poor, no matter what their race, do not. Race-based and class-based analyses of power are not alternatives, they are complements. Each is a hierarchy, and they manifest in different, intricate ways. This is what the theory of “intersectionality” is supposed to be useful for: there are bigotries that a white homeless woman will face that a black male executive will not, and vice versa. But the strategy for success is solidarity among the weak against the strong.

Race is the central fact of American criminal justice. But race is not the only fact. Understanding this system, and dismantling it, requires understanding that the existence of racism doesn’t preclude the possibility of class domination. It requires affirming simultaneously that black lives matter, and that every oppressed life matters. And it requires that we be haunted not only by Eric Garner’s “I can’t breathe,” but by Kelly Thomas’s “Dad…Dad…Dad…”


Via HuffPo

[Video] Family of Christopher Lopez Awarded $3 Mil by The Colorado Department of Corrections for Laughing and Ignoring Inmate as He Died

Originally posted on bayareaintifada:

Mentally ill inmate, Christopher Lopez, died while shackled in Colorado Department of Corrections San Carlos Correctional Facility prison.

Read More: Here

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SHUT IT DOWN! Protestors In 37 States Take The Streets To Fight Ferguson Decision (PHOTOS)

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Originally posted on Global Grind:

Protests Continue For A Second Day In NYC After Ferguson Grand Jury Decision

Demonstrators nationwide made sure the community in Ferguson, Mo. isn’t standing alone in their call to indict the justice system that allowed a white police officer to kill an unarmed black teenager yet again.

Tuesday night, the day after Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch announced that a grand jury failed to bring charges against Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, at least 37 states held planned demonstrations in the name of Michael Brown and others who have been killed by police brutality in recent months.

In fact, protests went off in more than 170 U.S. cities Tuesday night — an unprecedented demonstration to denounce police violence and systematic racism.

In New York, Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C. and more, protestors shut down highways, tunnels, and bridges, marching well into the night even in freezing temperatures.

In New York, protestors managed to shut down FDR Drive, the Lincoln Tunnel, blocked traffic…

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Update on Felix’s Parole Hearing

Prison Reform Movement:

Screw Floriduh!! Innocence Matters!!

Originally posted on deafinprison:

By BitcoDavid

Attorneys Reginald Garcia, left, and Pat Bliss speak to the Florida Commission on Offender Review on behave of Felix Garcia on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in Tallahassee, Fla. Garcia, a deaf Florida man who supporters say was framed for murder by his brother has a chance to get out of prison. Garcia is serving a life sentence for the murder of Joseph Tramontana Jr. during a 1981 Tampa robbery. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon) Courtesy Mail
Attorneys Reginald Garcia, left, and Pat Bliss speak to the Florida Commission on Offender Review on behave of Felix Garcia on Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, in Tallahassee, Fla. Garcia, a deaf Florida man who supporters say was framed for murder by his brother has a chance to get out of prison. Garcia is serving a life sentence for the murder of Joseph Tramontana Jr. during a 1981 Tampa robbery. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon) Courtesy Mail

I am deeply saddened to report that Felix Garcia was denied parole. Attorney Reggie Garcia has provided the following for media dissemination:

1. the parole commissioners will review the case again in three years (it could have been 5 – 7)

2. They referred Felix to Sumter C.I. in Bushnell, Florida. for special programming. (This is a Deaf friendly facility.)

3. They reduced by 12 months his Presumptive parole release date.

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“Born in prison, she inspires others with hope.”

Eagle Rare Life Award Nominee


Deborah Jiang-Stein was born in a prison, heroin-exposed at birth, and that alone begins her story of this nomination for a “Lead a Rare Life” winner in America. In spite of facing the risks of developmental delays from these beginnings, she rose out of her roots as an inspiring leader with courage and innovation. Today, she’s founder of The unPrison Project ( a charity that works with women and girls in prisons and detention centers across the country. She advocates for life skills and literacy as part of this national program to help to reduce incarceration rates.
Deborah carries an abiding dedication and deep passion for incarcerated women, especially mothers in prisons, and for their children left behind. To date, she’s reached over 12,000 people in prisons. She uses her personal compelling story to inspire and lead others to turn pain into purpose. Her ability to go where others cannot, both physically and emotionally, draws attention to issues we desperately need to notice: the rise of incarceration of women has risen over 800% in a 20 year span, and most women in prisons are sentenced for nonviolent behaviors. Most have left under-age children behind.
For many incarcerated mothers, the story of Deborah’s birth mother in prison is their story. Deborah’s story gives her an entrée into prisons in ways others can’t. She shares her gifts of writing and story telling in prisons because she believes in the potential of each person to discover their own strengths and gifts.
Deborah’s rare beginnings puts her in a unique position to advance the conversation about people living in the margins, especially those in prisons and detention centers, and especially women and girls. She shares her story in the memoir, Prison Baby, published by Beacon Press. She has also collected interviews with women in prisons for the book, Women Behind Bars, from Shebooks.
Please vote for Deborah to continue using her rare lifestory of inspiration and courage. In doing so, The unPrison Project will benefit from this award and will reach many thousands of women and girls in prisons with life skills programs and tools for literacy, education, and personal empowerment. Your vote will reach them personally. Thank you.

click HERE to vote and share!!

Important Alert: Fight the return of the new prison censorship rules

Originally posted on Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity:

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We called for your help in June,  and we’re calling for it again.  Last month, California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitations (CDCR) issued revisions to its proposed “obscene materials,” i.e. censorship regulations published earlier this year.This was in response to hundreds of public comments submitted to CDCR by CURB members and members of the public. CDCR promised to go back to the drawing board, saying the public had misunderstood its intent.This shows our collective people power! Yet, the revisions recently made by the Department are superficial and fail to address the serious concerns so many of us raised in our public comments.

If the proposed regulations are approved, CDCR will be able to permanently ban any publications it considers contraband, including political publications and correspondence that should be protected by First Amendment constitutional rights.

The proposed regulations are designed to:

  1. Censor writings that educate the public about…

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Save Adam Worster

Our mission is to align the drug policy, in Texas and at the federal level, with the standards of our American Medical Association.   The first step in this process is changing the way we think about alcoholics and drug addicts.  The American Medical Association considers alcoholism a disease and supports a classification that includes both physical and mental components.

This being the case we have to look beyond the restricted thinking of those who subscribe to the belief that prison is an option for non-violent drug addicts and alcoholics.  If alcoholism and drug addiction are diseases, why are they criminalized?

Why do our laws turn non-violent alcoholics and drug addicts into career criminals that are subject to the, mostly, unavoidable collisions with prison-rape, physical and emotional torture, and degradation in every way possible?

Did you know that Texas is releasing convicted killers due to overcrowded prisons?

Are you familiar with the story of David Port?   —->

Are you aware that we are handing out 25 year to life prison sentences for habitual DUI offenders (3 or more)?

EVEN if alcoholism was not considered a disease that requires treatment by our medical community, which it is — it is still unthinkable to release violent criminals so that we can incarcerate more alcoholics and drug addicts.

Blood is on our hands, and it is time we recognize that fact.  If our goal is to rehabilitate an alcoholic,  then we need more long-term treatment plans for the mentally ill alcoholic & drug addict, not more prisons….

Over half of the prison population is made up of non-violent alcohol & drug related "offenders"

Here are the facts:

Josh Brent, Dallas Cowboy’s lineman, was charged with intoxication manslaughter in 2012. His attorney’s complained because his bond was $500K. Josh Brent was released on bond within hours of being charged, and is currently on probation.

FAST FORWARD to 2014: He is being reinstated into the NFL, and begins work after week 6.

Allow me to recap, Josh Brent had 17 alcoholic beverages (witness corroborated), drove home, killed a man, paid a fine, got out of jail the same day, and is now returning to the NFL to make millions of dollars and be glorified on our Television sets.

Now let me tell you a story you haven’t heard.

Adam Worster, a friend of mine, was arrested for his 3rd DWI roughly 1 year ago — here in Houston (Montgomery County).  Each offense was non-violent, meaning NOBODY WAS INJURED!!!  The state of Texas gave Adam a plea deal of 40 YEARS IN PRISON!!! He is awaiting trial in Montgomery County and the least amount of prison-time that the judge can grant my friend based on our law is 25 YEARS!!!!

My friend is not a Dallas Cowboy. He’s not a professional athlete. He doesn’t have millions of dollars to throw at a case.  He is also not a killer, like David Port, and there are no media events covering this atrocity.

I’ve got a problem with this, and I aim to do something about it. My friend is facing the rest of his life in prison because he COULD HAVE hurt someone, while Josh Brent is reinstated to making millions of dollars per year after killing a man.



My friend is an alcoholic , not a criminal. Regardless of what you believe with regard to this matter — he needs and wants our help. Alcoholism and drug addiction are NOT CRIMES. You can not, in any convincing manner, lead me to believe that driving a car after drinking beyond the legal limit is cause for capital punishment (because that’s exactly what this is).

My friend is losing his life because of a non-violent incident involving drinking & driving — while the rest of America watches a Josh Brent ( a 2 time drunk driver, who killed a man in the act, violated the terms of his probation by failing 2 drug tests) return to society because he paid off our elected officials.

As I was sitting here watching a bad NFL game today I became overwhelmed with disgust for situation at hand. Why is Josh Brent reinstated to making millions for drinking 17 alcoholic beverages, driving home, and killing a man? Why is my friend facing the rest of his life in prison for the crime called “just not having enough money”?!?!



Please follow this link and SIGN THE PETITION TO REFORM OUR SYSTEM !

“A Girl Hung Herself Yesterday”: Deaths in Custody at California Institution for Women


Via Solitary Watch

Shadae "Dae Dae" Schmidt, who died in CIW's solitary confinement unit in February.

On July 30, 2014, Margarita Murugia was found hanging in her solitary confinement cell at the California Institution for Women (CIW). “She was there for her own protection, not because she did something,” wrote April Harris, a woman currently incarcerated at CIW. ” Apparently her mom was dying of cancer and they refused to let her see her mom. She tried to kill herself with every denied request. She finally did it.”

According to advocacy group California Coalition for Women Prisoners, CIW has had seven deaths since the start of 2014. In comparison, the prison had five deaths in 2013 and one in 2012.

Shadae Schmidt, better known as DaeDae to her friends, was another of these seven deaths. On March 24, 2014, Schmidt was found dead in her cell. In February 2014, while in the Security Housing Unit, or SHU, she suffered a stroke. She was taken to the hospital where she received medical attention. According to women inside, she was returned to isolation in her SHU cell less than three weeks later. The following month, she was found dead. Hers was the third death within three months at the prison.

Krys Shelley and DaeDae Schmidt had spent 10 years at Valley State Prison for Women before Shelley’s release in May 2012. The following year, Valley State was converted to a men’s prison; the women were moved to the Central California Women’s Facility across the street or to CIW in Corona.

Schmidt was transferred to CIW where she began complaining to friends and family that she was receiving the wrong medications. Then she was sent to the prison’s Security Housing Unit (SHU). Like the SHU in men’s prisons, women spend up to 23 ½ hours locked in their cells. No one is sure why Schmidt was sent to the SHU, but it doesn’t surprise Shelley. “DaeDae was sometimes too smart for her own good,” Shelley recalled. At Valley State, Schmidt would be sent to the SHU for talking back to an officer or for fighting to protect other women, she said. Schmidt was also sent to the SHU on allegations that she possessed tobacco, which was banned from California prisons in 2006. “If they hear you have tobacco, they’ll search you, they’ll search your room, then they’ll lock you up and investigate,” Shelley, who had also spent time in the SHU pending investigations, explained. “They don’t let you out until they’ve finished their investigation.” Schmidt was never actually found guilty of tobacco possession.

Shelley spoke with Schmidt several months before her death. She said that their conversation was full of laughter. “We always talked,” she said. “We were always laughing.” The next time she heard anything about her friend, it was news of her death.

Deaths in Lockdown

Dana Simas at the press office for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) insists that the SHU is not solitary confinement, pointing to the fact that, in July 2014, only four of the 96 women in the SHU were in cells by themselves. The other 92 were double-celled. (The number of people in single cells rose to six of the ninety-three women in SHU in August 2014.) Women are allowed out of the SHU for mental health appointments, medical appointments, and library visits. They are allowed to go to the yard, which has individual holding cells where they can exercise and talk, although the cells make it impossible for them to touch each other.

But Pam Fadem with California Coalition for Women Prisoners disagrees. “A year ago it was [solitary] until the prison was too crowded and everyone began getting a cellmate.” Having a cellmate while on lockdown has sometimes increased risks of violence. She described “Wendy,” who had been placed in the SHU for her own safety while at Valley State Prison. When she was moved to CIW, she was placed in general population where she was physically attacked three times within two months. She was then placed in a solo cell in SHU. As the prison became more crowded, CDCR placed another person in her cell. “She tried to refuse since it was an unknown person to her that felt like a threat,” Fadem explained. But the person was moved into her cell, “Wendy” was promptly attacked and only then was the second person moved out. Double-celling individuals while keeping them locked down in their cells for 22 to 23 hours a day is considered by advocates to be another form of isolated confinement, and not an acceptable alternative to solitary.

Deaths Outside of Solitary

Not all of the deaths have been in solitary. The first death, of 29-year-old Sheena Crigler, occurred on February 8th. On February 24th, Alicia Thompson, known as Gypsy to her friends, became the year’s second death. Prison officials told Thompson’s mother that she had committed suicide. Her mother, however, insists that her daughter did not commit suicide. She told Solitary Watch that her daughter’s body had no signs of hanging trauma, but did have bruising around her left temple. She and her grandchildren had spoken with her daughter three days earlier, on Friday, February 21st. “She called every week,” her mother said. “She seemed happy.”

DaeDae Schmidt’s death in the SHU was the third. Two weeks later, on March 26th, Stacey McCannon, whom friends called Grandpa Smiley, fell off a ladder, hit her head and died shortly after. According to women inside, that same day, eighty-year-old Delores Emmons died. In addition to these six deaths, women inside the prison report one other death.

Eight months after her daughter’s death, Alicia Thompson’s mother is still waiting for the coroner’s report. The coroner’s office told Solitary Watch that it has not yet determined the cause of death. “We have a year to file the report. Cases can take six months or more,” explained Pamela Sokolik. “We’re not keeping it from her, but the case is not yet closed.”

Thompson’s mother is raising Thompson’s three children, an eleven-year-old daughter and two sons, ages eight and four. She’s heard about the other deaths in the prison. “There’s too many deaths. I don’t understand why there hasn’t been an investigation yet,” she said.

Attempted Suicides

During July and August, four women unsuccessfully attempted suicide. According to the California Coalition for Women Prisoners, at least two of the women had been housed in the SHU.

According to Dana Simas, this number of suicides, both attempted and actual, is not unusually high. But, she acknowledges, “we’re dealing with a population in all sorts of crisis. Some are dealing with the fact that they’ll never get out of prison. Some may have gotten bad news from their family, had a bad encounter with someone else or just be having a bad day. Unlike people on the outside, they can’t remove themselves from the situation.” She also acknowledges that the prison environment can exacerbate already-present mental health issues.

Simas told Solitary Watch that mental health clinicians are available at all times within the SHU. “All they would have to do is request to see a mental health clinician,” she explained. In the SHU, staff are required to conduct welfare checks every fifteen minutes. During each check, staff must be able to see each person, note their actions and look for evidence of self-harm. Staff members have the authority to move a person to a mental health crisis bed.

However, women have told the California Coalition for Women Prisoners that, while clinicians check on them daily, they do not do so every fifteen minutes. They see a doctor twice a week, but are locked into a cage for their counseling session. They are unsure whether the doctor is a psychiatrist, psychologist, medical doctor or other type of clinician. Women also report that the doctors rotate often, making it hard to establish rapport.

Simas told Solitary Watch that if a person has attempted suicide, she is transferred to a mental health crisis bed. She is placed in a suicide prevention room and kept under 24-hour watch by staff. Release from the crisis bed comes only after mental health professionals, which include a psychiatric technician, a psychologist and, if medication is required, nursing staff, have conducted an evaluation and determined that the person is no longer at risk of self-harming.

What’s Being Done?

Citing privacy laws, Simas was not able to comment on Murugia’s suicide or what steps had been taken after each of her unsuccessful attempts. “The way CDCR approaches suicide is very serious. We will continue to improve our policies, our trainings and our responses,” she stated.

Women inside say otherwise. Jane Dorotik notes that, while CDCR has policies around providing mental health care and addressing mental health crises, these policies are rarely put into practice. She recounted one instance in which mental health staff turned away a person who needed help:

One day, Shirley brought a troubled woman over to me. The woman was twitching her leg, having difficulty just sitting still and focusing to talk to me. She was able to tell me, between incoherent mumblings, that she was hearing voices. She couldn’t get the voices out of her head and she was afraid of what they might tell her to do. She was thinking of cutting into her head ot make the voices stop.

I walked her over to the health clinic and explained the urgency to the staff. They responded in condescending and dispassionate terms. ‘We won’t see her without a pass from her housing unit.’ I walked into her unit (going ‘out of bounds’ myself) and spoke to her housing staff to alert them to the urgency. They responded, ‘Go away, you are out-of-bounds and can be written up. We know how to handle this.’

The next day I saw the woman walking around the yard mumbling to herself and twitching her leg. Half of her head was shaved and she had lacerations all through her scalp. She had obviously tried to quiet the voices on her own, to no one’s great alarm.

The woman Dorotik described attempted suicide on August 1, 2014, the day after Murugia was found hanging in her cell. She was sent to the prison’s Special Confinement Unit (SCU), a mental health unit, where she was also prescribed medications. She also participated in programs, such as self-esteem, substance abuse, stress management and reading enhancement, as well as daily group talk sessions. She reported that the programs provided her with relief from the constant hopelessness of the SHU. But after thirty days, she was declared stable and returned to the SHU. There are no group talk sessions in the SHU.

Days after Murugia’s suicide, Dorotik said, “CIW continues to struggle with how to implement policies to increase safety, prevent suicides, intercept drug trafficking and reduce fights. They try and eliminate blind corners and other external control measures. They never address the root of the problem—overcrowding [and] depressed hopeless women with no clear vision of the future.”

Horrifying Video: Prison Guards Callously Laugh as Mentally Ill Man Dies in Front of Them

By Cassandra Rules of The Free Thought Project

Heartbreaking enough, this is not some historic footage of a Nazi death camp. This is modern day America.


We see Mr. Lopez struggling to breath for hours, and then, finally, we have an unobstructed view as Mr. Lopez takes his last breath, dying, half-naked on the cold concrete floor of a prison cell – isolated and alone with no Defendant caring whether he lived or died”

A lawsuit has been filed in the March 17, 2013 death of Christopher Lopez at the San Carlos Correctional Facility.

Along with this lawsuit, attorney David Lane has released a horrific and heartbreaking compilation of footage from the hours leading to Lopez’ death.

The lawsuit begins-

On March 17, 2013, in full view of most of the Defendants, a shackled and stripped Christopher Lopez died alone and ignored, on the cold concrete floor of a cell at the San Carlos Correctional Facility. His death could have been easily prevented by most of the defendants had any one of them simply picked up a phone and called for medical help. Instead, the Defendants, all employees of the Colorado Department of Corrections, ultimately made what could pass as a documentary film on how to ignore the obvious and serious medical needs of a dying prisoner for hours until the very last breath of life leaves his body.

In the 47 minute long video, the prison guards laugh, joke, and mock this helpless and shackled schizophrenic man as he dies alone on the floor in front of them.


The incident was triggered by a sodium deficiency, which may have been a reaction to the psychotropic medication he was taking.

“The first video shows Christopher Lopez lying face down on the floor of his cell, naked from the waist up, and the staff is yelling in the cuff slot.

They’re saying, ‘Come to the slot and cuff up or we’re not going to help you with your medical issue.’ But you can see Lopez is virtually unconscious. He’s trying to lift his head but he’s not strong enough to do it. Then they gear up the force team and go in. But first, they talk about pepper-spraying him because he’s not complying with their demands, even though some low-level guard says he has a medical issue. The only reason they don’t pepper-spray him is because they’re short-staffed.” Lane explained.

The guards entered the cell dressed in full riot gear and dragged him out. They told him to stop resisting, even though his dying body was entirely limp.

0“Their reports about this are all part of the cover up,” Lane continued. “They say, ‘He disobeyed our order’ to make it seem like he was obstreperous when he was actually almost unconscious.”

They move him to a restraint chair with a spit hood while Lopez has a grand mal seizure.  During this time the guards talk about Walmart and their plans for the weekend.

Eventually he is removed from the chair and left chained on the floor.  A nurse finally enters, but not to provide any kind of emergency treatment. She tells Lopez, “It’s time for your psych meds” to which she receives no response from the dying man, even as she kicks him, and then injects the very drugs that may have caused this medical emergency directly into his anus.

Twenty minutes into the video we see Lopez struggling to breathe, shackled, on the floor of his cell and the officers begin to chat.

“Is it lunch already?” the guard asks, followed by inaudible conversation.

“He could swallow his teeth, I don’t care…”

At 21:30 the guard coldly proclaims, “he didn’t even piss on himself, so he’s not seizing.”

Around the 40:00 mark another disgusting conversation takes place, showing how truly sadistic these monsters in charge of people’s lives really are.

“What’s he doing now?” a female supervisor asks.

“Smells like he peed all over the place,” a man replies.

“Is he still on the floor?”


“He likes it on the floor.”

“I like him on the floor.”

“Yeah, he likes it alright when he’s on the floor.”

Laughter ensues.

“Isn’t that terrible?”

Warning- Graphic and Heartbreaking


This awful ordeal began at 3:30 in the morning, and at 9:10 a.m., Mr. Lopez took his last breath and died, shackled and face down in the intake cell with no help from the people watching him struggle.

Three employees have been fired, and five others disciplined. No criminal charges were filed.

If Fyodor Dostoyevsky was correct in stating that you can judge a society by how well it treats its prisoners, this video is a very horrific display of what our society has become.  We can do better.

Read the full lawsuit here.

Via The Free Thought Project