ALERT: FAM Press Statement and Call to Action: #EnoughIsEnough PROTEST

 JUNE 6, 2020

PRESS STATEMENT

IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PUBLIC (PLEASE SHARE)

FROM: FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT, FAM’S QUEEN TEAM, NINE DIVINE

RE: PROTEST TO BE HELD AT ALABAMA BUREAU OF PARDONS AND PAROLES ON JUNE 23, 24 AND 25

#FREEUMALL
@humunsofalabamadoc
#EnoughIsEnough

ALABAMA DEPT OF CORRUPTION, STATEWIDE.

To all concerned citizens in the State of Alabama, all incarcerated individuals, to our elected and appointed State officials, and to all of our supporters around the World:

On June 23, 24 and 25, at 8:30 am, FAM and a Coalition of organizations, including FAM’s Queen Team, Nine Divine, family members, activists, attorneys, and supporters are calling for a 3-day Protest at the Headquarters for the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles in Montgomery, Al.

We are making this Call to Action to address the ongoing humanitarian crises taking place inside of the Alabama Department of Corrections, as well as to address decisions being made by the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles that are only exacerbating these issues.

Enough is enough !!!

DEADLY VIOLENCE

Under the current leadership of Commissioner Jefferson Dunn, Alabama’s prisons are the most deadly, overcrowded and underfunded in the nation, and the unfathomable lose of life cannot continue on as usual. In May alone we mourned the death of six more men (and presumably women too) due to violence, suicide or other negligent acts while in ADOC custody.


At the same time, there were many more struggling to survive stabbings, self-mutilations due to mental health issues, and officer use of excessive force and brutality. As we release this statement, Donaldson prison was placed on lockdown due to another episode of violence that has been brewing for three days while ADOC staff stood by and allowed it to happen. We are sick of the savagery and barbarian that is the leadership of ADOC Commissioner Jefferson Dunn.


Enough is Enough !!!

Enough of the murders and drug overdoses. Enough COVID-19 deaths (Mr. Hershell Moon died from COVID 19 on June 3, 2020). Enough physical and sexual abuse. Enough of the suicides. Enough of the preventable medical deaths. And enough of death by incarceration. Enough !!! This level of suffering cannot continue to go on.


Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles.

Meanwhile the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles is denying parole at a staggering rate. In May 2020, 160 people were afforded parole hearings. Of those 160, only 15 people made parole according to a new SPLC report. Also according to SPLC, 11 of the 15 were white, while only 4 people granted parole were Black. These four Black people made parole despite the fact that 51% of those up for parole were Black. These numbers reveal yet another example of the systemic racial issues that plague the Bureau of Parole under Charles Graddick.

 

One should not be surprised to hear Charlie Graddick using the word “hanging” when talking about people in Alabama prisons.

Many deserving individuals who have served decades in Alabama prisons or who will serve decades more are being denied parole even though they are deserving of freedom. Yesterday, June 4, 2020, according to Beth Shelburne, the Bureau denied 37 out of 38 paroles, including a man who has already served 33 years for 2nd and 3rd degree burglary charges. This is outrageous misconduct and a waste of tax dollars. Arbitrarily denying parole to over 75% of all eligible people reveals systemic issues and an addiction to incarceration and oppression. This Must End !



Moreover, the parole process is a complete sham. There are no objective criteria by which a person is reviewed for parole. No one knows what the Board members consider as evidence of rehabilitation and parole readiness. The person being considered for parole is not even allowed to be present to speak at the hearing or to speak via video. This does not make any sense. It is 2020, where judicial proceedings, visitation and other important business is conducted via video technology; yet the Alabama Bureau of Pardons and Paroles conducts their business as if we were still living in 1901..

These outdated practices, outdated ideas, and outdated leaders must go. The time for change is now, and Charlie Graddick Must Go!!!

Enough is Enough !! #WeCantBreatheInADOC, either.

In the past, the “Alabama solution” to these same problems has always been the same: Build more prisons !!! Well, building more prisons has not solved our problem; it has only solved theirs.

Today, we must send a message to Montgomery that we reject their solutions.

No more waiting for a Special Session. No more backwards Bills by Rep. Chris England and the other Prison Reform Study Group members. No more Prison Reform Study Groups. By the time these things come to pass, we will be dead in the Alabama Department of Death.

Alabama prisons also lead or are near the top in suicide deaths.


#NoMorePrisons
#NoMoreParoleBureau
#NoMoreCharlieGraddick
#NoMoreDeaths

If you are a family member or support person for someone up for parole on June 23, 24 or 25, please contact us at the information below and provide us with details of accomplishments and any other information that you feel supports your loved one’s release.

THANK YOU,

FREE ALABAMA MOVEMENT
FAM’S QUEEN TEAM
NINE DIVINE

If you or your organization would like to be added as a co-sponsor or supporter, please email us at:
freealabamamovement@gmail.com, or fam@famqueenteam.com



Lieutenant Ronald Carter of ADOC Strikes Again: Commissioner Dunn Fails to Protect Life

Many people are tuned in to the most recent media coverage of events about the murder of an innocent and unarmed Black man in Georgia and another incident where a Black woman was body-slammed by an officer for not wearing a face covering in a public storefront. However, another attack by a peace officer against an unarmed Black man in Alabama, Mr. Andre McKinney, has not made its way into the news cycle. Why? Probably because Mr. McKinney is incarcerated, and these types of stories rarely ever make the news.

Andre McKinney was beaten in the head with a “1×4” by a correctional officer on April 25, 2020, while handcuffed.

Nevertheless, there are certain facts about this incident aside from the fact that Mr. Kinney is a victim of unprovoked police brutality that are news worthy.

Many activist and others who are following the Alabama prison system know that late last year two men, Stephen Davis and Micheal Smith, were beaten to death by Alabama correctional Officers. No arrests have been made in either incident. Additionally, the officer involved in the Davis murder, Kendrick Gadson, has already returned to work and been promoted by Commissioner Dunn to the rank of Sergeant.

These were the second and third reported incidents of a person in custody of ADOC being beaten to death by correctional Officers. Rocrast Mack III was also beaten to death in 2010, and his attackers were convicted and sentenced to federal prison.

Rocrast Mack III

At the same time, the ADOC is currently being investigated by the United States Department of Justice for, among other things, violence levels in Alabama’s men prisons. Coincidentally, the ADOC stalled federal investigators for over one year, refusing to turn over internal documents and reports relating to use-of-force by correctional officers, which turns directly into this latest attack against Mr. McKinney.

Lt. Ronald Carter, the officer involved in the attack and beating of Mr. Kinney, is no stranger to such accusations.

In a class action lawsuit filed while Lt. Carter was a Sargeant at Donaldson Correctional Facility, Carter was accused of beating multiple individuals, all while in handcuffs. In addition, then-Sgt. Carter was once relieved of duty when other officers turned on him in a lawsuit after it was uncovered that Carter was running an illegal racketeering operation using cigarettes and coffee to extort incarcerated individuals, their families and to conduct other illegal activities.

Carter, however, is a second generation officer who was able to get rehired after resigning when his racketeering activities were uncovered. His mother, Mary Carter was a long-time ADOC correctional officer officer and served as a warden for many years during her tenure with ADOC. She is now retired.

By 2014, Carter had risen to the rank of Lieutenant, and his reputation for violence was well documented. At that time, he transferred to St. Clair prison from Donaldson prison, where he served under notorious warden Carter Davenport. As an enforcer for Davenport, Carter carried out a reign of terror that lasted for several years.

Three incidents bear mentioning here.

1. Jermaine Tillman.

Jermaine Tillman was beaten and asphyxiated by Lt. Carter while handcuffs. Mr. Tillman had to be resuscitated multiple times to survive. This incident resulted in a civil settlement of tens of thousands of dollars.

2. Ventura Harris.

One day Ventura Harris was called out of his assigned living area by two officers. When Mr. Harris stepped into the corridor, Lt. Carter was waiting. Lt. Carter had the two officers to place Mr. Harris against the wall and handcuff him to the rear. While Mr. Harris was handcuffed to the rear and defenseless, one of the officers took a set of handcuffs and delivered a blow to the back of Mr. Harris’s head. The blow was so violent that it busted his scalp all the way to the skull.

Harris also settled a civil rights lawsuits for tens of thousands of dollars.

3. Xavian Austin (April 17, 2014 PRESS STATEMENT https://freealabamamovement.wordpress.com/2015/05/01/press-release/)

Mr. Xavian Austin was apprehended for allegedly possessing a cellphone. The officers who apprehended Mr. Austin placed him in handcuffs to the rear and proceed to escort him out of the dorm. Once outside, Mr. Austin was roughed up and his head was ran into a concrete wall.

From there, Mr. Austin was taken to the shift officer, where Lt. Carter was waiting. Mr. Austin was summarily beaten by Lt. Carter and then taken to the infirmary. After being screened by medical staff, Mr. Austin was taken to a remote location where he was beaten again by Lt. Carter and his crew.

BUT . . .

Later this same morning after the Austin attacks, Lt. Carter himself would be stabbed multiple times, have his jaw broken, and suffer multiple other injuries. This incident set off a wave of violence in the ADOC that has not dissipated to this day.

Lt. Carter was absent from the ADOC for over two years, before finally resurfacing at Childerburg Work Camp. Apparently, Commissioner Jefferson Dunn has positions for violent officers like Lt. Ronald Carter.

Lt. Carter seems to have learned a few things after watching how the Stephen Davis murder played out. Recall that the officers who beat Mr. Davis to death claim that Mr. Davis attacked them with two knives in hand. Mr. Davis was beaten beyond recognition, forcing his mother to hold a closed casket funeral.

In the disciplinary report filed in the McKinney assault, Lt. Carter claims that Mr. McKinney took a 1×4 and struck himself in the head while “handcuff[ed] to the front.”

“While detained in the Lieutenant Office with handcuffs to the front by Lt. Ronald Carter. You, inmate Andre McKinney B/179884, did pick up a 1×4 pick of wood and intentionally strike yourself multiple times in the head to self-inflict wounds. “

The Alabama Prison System under the leadership of Commissioner Jefferson Dunn is a bottomless pit of moral decay and hell-on-earth that knows no sin or evil too great. It is time to STOP making demands for change to Commissioner Dunn and start making the DEMAND that #DunnMustGo!!

Please follow us for details of actions being planned to demand Justice for Mr. McKinney.