Thursday, June 19, 2008

Prisoner Threatened With Lynching, PADOC Ignores White Supremacist Hate Crime

Distribute this far and wide and take action please

Prisoner Threatened With Lynching

On January 10, 2007 at SCI Fayette, Correctional Officers Friend and Collings came to the cell door of Michael Edwards #CM8086 in an effort to intimidate the prisoner into dropping a lawsuit. When Mr. Edwards refused C/O Friend pulled three photographs of lynched black people from his pocket and threw them in the prisoner's cell. This took place in the presence of Sgt. Ruvo.

HRC/Fed Up! has copies of these photographs in our possession. And so do you if you open the attached file. We also have documented proof that this incident has been brought to the attention of the highest ranking officials in the PA DOC, including Secretary of Corrections Jeffrey Beard.

On May 28, 2008 Lt. Lesure threatened Michael Edwards with transfer unless he signed a two-page affidavit dropping the prisoner's grievances against C/Os Friend and Collings, along with related grievances. After his cell was searched twice in twenty minutes and property—including legal documents—were confiscated, Mr. Edwards still refused to sign the affidavit and was promptly placed on a van to SCI Camp Hill without a prior 802 hearing.

On route to SCI Camp Hill C/O Collings #2 (twin brother of the former) stated to the prisoner, "Last chance. You see how easy it would be to kill you? Drop the complaints."

Upon arrival at Camp Hill mental health staff member Edward Kalsky threatened Edwards with indefinite SMU confinement unless he signed and dated aforementioned affidavit.

On May 29 Mr. Edwards appeared before the PRC, and unit manager C. Chambers was handed a two-page affidavit from Dept. Supt. Kazor, who both claimed that the document was authorized by "Central Office." The prisoner was told that if he signed and dated the affidavit he would be transferred to any prison of his choosing and placed in general population. Mr. Edwards refused to sign.

Currently, the prisoner still is housed in the SMU without his personal property, access to cleaning supplies, paperwork, and law library; without control over his cell lighting, which is on 24 hours a day, and he has been denied yard. On May 29 Sgt. Houser also pressured Mr. Edwards to sign the affidavit, and between 5/28/08 and 6/11/08 Edward Kalsky and counselor Phil Baker have attempted to do the same.

Hands off Michael Edwards!

Michael Edwards continues to live under the threat of murder by white supremacist prison personnel. Do not let this happen!

Contact SCI Camp Hill (717-737-4531), ask for the Superintendent or Deputy Superintendent's office, and demand hands off Michael Edwards! Let the prison know that we will not tolerate any harm being visited upon Mr. Edwards, and that Deputy Superintendent Kazor and Superintendent Pavlovich are personally responsible for the safety and health of Mr. Edwards and all prisoners in their custody.

No more hate crimes! Fire all known white supremacists in the PA DOC!

This incident runs deeper than Michael Edwards and cuts to the very core of how the prison-industrial complex serves to enforce a white supremacist power structure. Let's make a move together and target prison guards who engage in overt white supremacist terrorism for immediate termination of their employment.

Contact SCI Fayette (724-364-2200) and demand that C/O Collings #1 & #2 along with C/O Friend be fired immediately for the incident of January 10, 2007.

Why does Jeffy look the other way? Is his money that good?

Contact Secretary Beard (call 717-737-4531 and ask to be connected to Sec. Beard's office) and ask why he has refused to acknowledge this incident, fire the personnel involved, and open an investigation into racist/white supremacist abuse inside PA prisons. Refusal to meet these modest and just demands will be understood as proof that Secretary Jeffrey Beard supports the sowing of racial terror inside the PA DOC.

Stay in touch with one another . . .

Please let others know about this incident, when you called and how that went, and encourage others to do so. Also, it is important that everybody who can drop a line or two of support to Michael Edwards at the following address:

Michael Edwards #CM8086

SCI Camp Hill

P.O. Box 200

Camp Hill, PA 170001-0200

Human Rights Coalition - FedUp! Chapter
5125 Penn Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15224
412-361-3022 xt.4

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