Thursday, April 30, 2015

Free Alabama Movement Protests Riot Crew Brutality at St. Clair Facility

April 29, 2015




WHEN: Saturday, May 2, 2015, @ 11:30 am

WHERE: ST. Clair prison. Springville, Al

Contact: Ms. Antonia Brooks

On May 2, 2015, family members, friend, and loved ones of those who are incarcerated in ADOC are being asked to attend the protest at St. Clair prison against the police brutality by ADOC.

On April 17, 2017, Lt. Ronald Carter sparked more violence and police brutality at St. Clair prison when he beat Xavier Austin while in handcuffs. On this same night, another officer left his assigned security post and attempted to assault another man. These assaults, and the acts of self-defense in the face of this violence resulted in the RIOT TEAM being called into St. Clair on April 17 2015, and resulted in over 25 men being beaten by the RIOT TEAM.

The ADOC is attempting to cover up this police brutality with a bogus investigation that has resulted in over 10 black men being charged with assault against Lt. Carter, but there have been no calls for any investigation into the police brutality claims, which were recorded and photographed. The ADOC is charging these men – all Black – in this matter based on “confidential sources”, but with no evidence of any kind, and in some instances even where ADOC’s own records show that these men are innocent.

Lt. Carter has been sued in multiple civil action and class action lawsuits for abuse as an officer while at Donaldson, including one beating that resulted in a man death.

While at St. Clair, Lt. Carter has been named in more lawsuits for police brutality, several pending rigt now, including one filed by Bryan Stevenson of EQUAL JUSTICE INITIATIVE, which includes an incident where Lt. Carter choked a handcuffed man nearly to death and another man, Ventura Harris, was beaten by Lt. Carter’s subordinates while he stood and watched. Mr. Harris required over 15 staples to patch his skull back together.

Also, several officers signed a petition that was circulated at St. Clair by Officer Brian Fife, where they were complaining about the abuse and bullying tactics by Lt. Carter towards officers. Lt. Carter has also been accused of sexual harassment by at least one female correctional officer.

We are asking all family members, friends, loved ones and supporters to attend this protest to “STOP POLICE BRUTALITY BY ADOC”, and to demand justice for those who have been wrongfully accused and/or beaten as a result of the actions of Lt. Carter. Stop this cover-up now and demand accountability against police brutality.


George Jackson University
Ida B. Wells Coalition
Black Autonomy Federation
IWW Alabama
San Francisco Bay View

More background:

St. Clair (AL) Incarcerated Under Lock Down - Under Brutal Repression

Petition, Protest and Resist NJSP Baltimore Deployment

Two days ago I launched a petition opposing the deployment of NJ State Troopers by Governor Christie to occupy the Baltimore community in response to coordinated youth resistance after authorities have refused to arrest the 6 police officers responsible for the murder of Freddie Grey whose spine was severed while in police custody.

Yesterday morning I thought it might work to get the idea of the petition into the news media since the media is apparently hopping for Baltimore related coverage so I shot the link out to dozens of reporters that I have been sending press releases to.  That resulted in two pretty awesome articles about the petition – which in turn resulted in many more people becoming aware of it and signing.  It also touched off the usual firestorm of border line KKK mentality comments underneath the two articles.  (Amsterdam News has not been hit by the racist commenters union.)

In another creative bit of resistance by NJ in solidarity with Baltimore, New Brunswick residents and Rutgers students united to confront Governor Christie at a bill signing ceremony in New Brunswick and their chants against deployment of state troopers to Baltimore drowned out much of his grandstanding resulting in several more news articles on the topic of NJ resistance to the deployment.


It is being reported that NJ will be sending over 100 state troopers to join the occupation of Baltimore and the repression of the youth led uprising there.

After a parade of killings with impunity by police across the whole country, many of them captured by video camera and broadcast across the country, and after months of #BlackLivesMatters nonviolent protests, civil disobediences, meetings and gatherings of all sorts, youth of Baltimore organized a concerted active resistance in response to the police murder of Freddie Gray whose spine was broken in police custody. This was after days of non-violent protests, including a march of 10,000, demanding the arrests of the police perpetrators.

The rebellion has captivated the orchestrated US media with most attention focused, not on the decades of deprivation, poverty, mass incarceration and abuse and killings with impunity by police that preceded the rebellion but on demonizing the responsive actions of the super oppressed of the Baltimore community. Now everybody that has not cared in the least about the massive killing by police with impunity has an opinion about the response of the people of Baltimore.

That NJ tax dollars are being spent to provide repressive means to occupy the Baltimore community and to join the suppression of a rebellion that is the result of decades of multiple forms of super oppression – not just against Baltimore – but against Black and Brown and impoverished communities across the entire USA is only part of the reason why the people of NJ should oppose the deployment.

NJ still has not fully funded the public schools, is withholding funding for pensions, has cut funding to cities, nursing homes and other infrastructure yet NJ can afford to deploy hundreds of state troopers to Baltimore for occupation duties!

The Baltimore rebellion is also a training ground for police militarization and counter insurgent type operations. The NJ State Troopers along with police forces from throughout the eastern seaboard will be field testing technology and tactics. They will be preparing for the eventuality where similar means are deployed in NJ and elsewhere.

We hereby call upon Governor Christie to immediately halt the deployment of NJ State Troopers to join the occupation of the Baltimore community and further to immediately withdraw all NJ State Troopers already deployed. We call for instead, full funding of NJ’s public schools, pensions, nursing homes, homeless support, other human needs and NJ’s cities.

After 2 days – 500 people have already signed and the petition is still growing.  

Meanwhile, already the Christie Administration has announced that the deployment to Baltimore is already being extended:

Meanwhile – reports are coming out of Baltimore that arrested Baltimore youth are being faced with $500,000 (one half a million) bail and some are likely to face the prospect of life or decades imprisonment. 

Thus the deployment of NJ State is *bolstering the repression* of the resistance to impunity for police that brutalize and kill unarmed civilians. 
The petition obviously links up the issue of opposition to the deployment to the funding issues of NJ – and that connection is not lost on many of the signers based upon their comments:

“If we can't afford to pay our state pension recipients, who will front the costs for our state troopers assisting in another state?”
“With the budget deficit issues and the concerns about funding state employee pensions (which are mandated by law) Christie decides to spend $800,000 on a political stunt.”

There are many reasons given by the signers including concerns of costs, the need for the funds in NJ, the concerns that police are needed in NJ instead, the idea that NJ should not contribute to the repression of the Baltimore community.

When I was interviewed for the article in the SJ Times I offered the idea that youth who are resisting see themselves having no future and nothing to lose.  As I was quoted:

“If there had been arrests of those officers, the youth would not have done what they did," Witanek said. "Their future is bleak, they're in free-fall," he said, adding what's to lose when incidents similar to Gray's death continue to happen, you feel marginalized, don't have a job and your house doesn't have plumbing.”

Interesting that I had hit on this plumbing issue because shortly thereafter this link showed up about Baltimore  following Detroit’s lead of turning off the water for impoverished residents that can not make the water payments.  What this means is that the NJ State Police are not only there to control resistance and protest of killing and brutality by police with impunity – they are there to enforce repressive measures to deny Baltimore people access to the bare necessity of water.  

The deployment of NJ State Troopers to Baltimore parallels initial commitments of US soldiers to war.  It usually is presented first as a short term commitment and soon extended – already the initial 3 day deployment has been extended to next week.  The troopers will be learning how to militarily occupy and control a community that is in the midst of unrest.  They will be field testing technology, tactics and equipment.  They will also be an impediment not only to Baltimore’s resistance to brutal and dirty policing but to economic injustices like massive unemployment, lack of support for services to the super impoverished and also the push to shut the water off for impoverished residents.

We need to continue to promote the petition and other means to demand that NJ get out of Baltimore – like the protests that occurred yesterday – in solidarity with the people of Baltimore but also in our own defense as the deployment will further militarize NJ’s police for potential use against us here should we pose any challenge to the distorted priorities in this state in favor of the billionaires and against the growing impoverished of NJ.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Rise with Dawn . . . Freedom and Justice for Kwadir Felton!

Some of the strongest freedom fighters are the mothers of the sons and daughters that have suffered the harshest form of oppression under the US police and carceral state.  One such mother is Dawn Renee Felton, mother of Kwadir Felton, a youth who was blinded for life by police bullet and who is now serving a lengthy sentence after a trial that can only be described as having occurred to cover up the police crime of his shooting.
A posting on Dawn Felton’s Facebook wall of a link to a recent New York Times article about outgoing US Attorney General Eric Holder’s support for police every time matters have gone before the US Supreme Couty regarding police violence was much more than a random sharing by Ms. Felton.  To her the matter, and Holder’s position on such issues is quite personal.  Dawn Felton has recently written to the Justice Department asking for the US Justice Department to intervene on the side of justice for her son Kwadir.
Here is Dawn Felton’s letter:

Dawn Felton at recent Decarcerate Bridgeton / Southwoods Event on April 4:

Dear U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder,

My name is Dawn Felton and I’m the mother of Kwadir Felton. On January 10, 2010 Kwadir Felton was shot in the head by Sergeant Thomas McVicar. He did survive.  Now he is visual impaired for the rest of his life. Kwadir went to trial on November 14, 2013. He was found guilty of all charges. He was charged with fourth degree aggravated assault on a police officer, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and unlawful possession of a hand gun on three consecutive accounts, which McVicar put false charges on Felton to cover up the shooting as well as the sweep with out an arrest or search warrant.

There is evidence to suggest that Felton is telling the truth, his Fingerprints and DNA were no where to be found on the weapon in questioning. The police version of events is full of holes and discrepancies at every turn. However, it remains unclear whether McVicar was on or off duty that night. There was no physical evidence showing he worked that day, there was no timesheet and no dispatch.

Even more damaging is that McVicar did not immediately report the shooting, instead he reported that shots were fired sending the Jersey City Police Department and the State Police to a different location for twenty to thirty minutes where there was no shooting after Felton was shot. On the crime scene there was no gun photographed with his body. The crime scene was tampered with. McVicar pushed Felton down after he shot him, Felton sat up then McVicar was kicking Felton’s right leg. Also, called into question is McVicar’s claim that he shot Felton with his 4.5 caliber service weapon. Which on trial a sergeant directs an unnamed officer from the scene testified he went to the scene bagged the gun took it to the police headquarters for storage without registering it as evidence and brought it back two hours later to be photographed at the crime scene. The defense’s forensic pathologist, testified as an expert witness that it would have been impossible for Felton to survive a shot to the head with a 4.5 caliber with hollow point bullets at close range. Even though the bullet wound to Felton’s head was a through and through wound, meaning it entered one end and exited the other, the bullet was never recovered from the scene, leaving more questions than answers.

Sergeant Thomas McVicar testified he never wrote a police report on the shooting, he never filed a use of force or deadly force report, he never testify at his own excessive force hearing, he never filed an 802 report, he never testify in front of the grand jury. McVicar violates the Attorney General guide lines. McVicar also testified he was in his own personal vehicle and used his own personal weapon. McVicar is known to use excessive force in many many cases.

Kwadir is now housed at South Woods State Prison. My son is not getting proper medical attention that he needs. He suffers seizures from emotions, he is legally blind, his sinus cavity was shattered from the bullet and he gets lots of sinus infections, he suffers from severe headaches, he needs CT Scan on his head twice a year. Kwadir needs to see his eye doctor that he had since the incident happen. The Commission for the blind was teaching Kwadir how to

deal with being blind three times out of the week, now that he is in prison they do not fund him. This case needs to be investigated by a higher authority. “PLEASE HELP MY SON”

Sincerely, Dawn Felton

Ms. Felton received a response that the Department of Justice would look into it and get back to her in 60 days.  

And now the New York Times has reported:At the Supreme Court, where the limits of police power are established, Mr. Holder’s Justice Department has supported police officers every time an excessive-force case has made its way to arguments. Even as it has opened more than 20 civil rights investigations into local law enforcement practices, the Justice Department has staked out positions that make it harder for people to sue the police and that give officers more discretion about when to fire their guns. . . . Police groups see Mr. Holder as an ally in that regard, and that pattern has rankled civil rights lawyers, who say the government can have a far greater effect on policing by interpreting law at the Supreme Court than through investigations of individual departments.”

There are many mother warriors around the USA these days that have lost their sons, daughters, husbands, lovers to police bullets, to the swinging batons, to vicious beatings and even to dogs.  Unlike many of the others, Dawn’s son Kwadir survived – not that the police and officials wanted it that way.  Though he was shot in the head through and through – 3 days later he was moved out of the ICU and placed in a County Jail with a half a million dollars bail.  Obviously it would have been more convenient to the system had Kwadir perished.

This is a case where they prosecuted the victim of police violence as part of a cover up.  They charged him for a gun that had no DNA nor blood on it, that had left the site and come back to the site.  The irregularities in McVicar’s behavior after he shot Kwadir in the head are staggering.  Then they arrested Kwadir on trumped up conspiracy charges that had nothing at all to do with the police shooting of him and they allowed the charges to be combined into a single trial – clearly tainting any fairness for Kwadir in either of the cases.   

The shame goes beyond the police department to the prosecutor and the judge that ruled against Kwadir on motion after motion and on the entire political establishment of New Jersey which sat silently as this prosecution and sentencing proceeded.  And even we in the various justice and human rights formations – while we might stand and we might speak out for the myriad of justice demands including for Kwadir – we have been largely unable to successfully leverage our might into a force to be reckoned with to be able to impact for the cause of justice in Kwadir’s case and in so many other cases.

Like so many of the other mothers, Dawn Felton has a quest to see justice done.  She is working with a legal clinic and they will soon assign an attorney to file an appeal which given all of the irregularities in this case as well as the disdain for Attorney General guidelines of Officer McVicar and the Jersey City police, it is likely that the appeal will prevail. 

Dawn Felton has also had to withstand indignities from corrections authorities that originally denied Kwadir’s request to place her on the visitation list.  Decarcerate theGarden State and other justice organizations conducted a pressure campaign to help allow her to be added to the visitation list. 
She has also demonstrated leadership in the formation of Southwoods Family United which is working to unite families, friends and supporters of South Woods prisoners to improve conditions at the facility.

Kwadir Felton is another victim of the rampant police violence plaguing the streets of the nation right now – particularly in the Black and Brown impoverished communities.  The toll of this violence is mounting almost daily.
We need to prepare . . . we will be working with Dawn Felton once the appeal is prepared to hold a hopefully large meeting in Jersey City to unify all of the justice forces of the region behind the demand to vacate the conviction, to free Kwadir Felton and to grant justice for Kwadir.

If you are interested in getting involved contact us at or contact Dawn Felton at <> .

The mothers of the victims of police violence and others directly connected to these atrocities are the potential leaders of a no holds barred movement.  Those that are so directly connected to the ultimate forms of oppression are not looking for political schemes . . . not looking to leverage the situation to get elected . . . less willing to compromise.  Some of these mothers might not be Ivy League professors and masters of eloquent dialect . . . might not be read up on the volumes of revolution . . . but through their experience they have wisdom to recognize the system in all its wretchedness.

Let us rise with Dawn and demand freedom and justice for Kwadir and rise with all of the mothers that have seen their children beaten and broken and murdered by police, corrections and other operatives of the state apparatus!