So, I'm urging as many people as possible - especially those of you who work for DOC - to tune into the documentary "Deaf in Prison" from June 27-June 29 HERE: bit.ly/DeafPrisoners.
The facebook page for the event is HERE.
Unfortunately, that and several other complaints about how violent and abusive the TSU officers were that day that were made to the Warden, Ron Credio, were dismissed as "unsubstantiated", because the officers denied the allegations - if they were even investigated. Word has it that the TSU Officers were actually told to give the guys a bad time because someone had written "Suck it!" in rocks while Credio was giving a legislator a tour, and even though the guy took responsibility for his "crime", everyone was to be punished for it.
--------------from a letter sent to the US Attorney's Office by a prisoner, who cc'ed it to me-----------
"On Tuesday, April 23, 2013 about thirty correctional officer entered the east side yard of the Meadows unit, in the Eyman complex at Florence, Arizona. These correctional officers are part of an elite squad known as the “Tactical Security Unit” (“TSU”): which are usually called in on special projects like riots, strikes, unrest, hostage-takings, etc..
Those S.W.A.T-like group wore all-black uniforms, wore no name tags, and was adorned in black vests, black ball-like caps pulled down with big black sunglasses. They purposely disguised themselves so no one could identify and name them. They directed men to put their chins down on their chest and not look up. Men were forced to strip in front of other prisoners and guards. They were compelled outside, in 85 - 90 degrees, in only a t-shirt, boxer, and shower shoes. Once outside prisoners were forced to sit on the hot sidewalk with their chin on their chest and their hands behind their back...
....they shouted they were in charge, this was their prison and we will learn it. They would get up in Men’s faces (2 to 3 inch) and would shout at them. As they talked and yelled, spit would come out their mouths. They told one man (Abdullah) “Do you think this is funny?”
They grabbed Abdullah and tried to throw him on a metal bed. When he didn’t fall, they (4) grabbed him and dragged him back to the exit door and slammed him to the cement floor. While he was face-down on the floor, one officer stepped on Abdullah’s foot with all his weight.
Next to him was a prisoner named Chrisopher. two men were holding him down by putting their knees and full weight on him. He was moaning and groaning and trying to “talk” to them. Christopher is deaf. They had slung him to the floor to start with because he had not responded to their command. But they were standing behind him and he could not “hear” or read their lips. THEY DIDN’T CARE!
...Once they had marched all the other men out, the officers pulled Abdullah, Christopher, and another prisoner...to their feet, push them into the bathroom area and forced them to strip in front of them. As they were stripping they were punched, slapped, and called “Nigger”, “pinchy chomo”, “Deaf asshole”, “boy”, “wetback”, etc., etc. And they were loud with it! Eventually they were all compelled outside and thrown, face down into the rocks and ground. It was between 85 and 90 degrees that day and the rocks were hot. (The other men were lined up along the sidewalk. They sat there in their boxers, with their chin on their chest and hands behind their backs.)
During these altercations, there were females sitting at the tables logging in “contraband”. The men had been paraded out past these females. They said nothing to their comrades. They had also observed the men being stripped and searched..."
Both of those reports were sent to Director Ryan in an email last year, too - he ignored them.
So this week I was kinda stunned to see that not only did Credio ignore the abuses of the TSU team during that incident (and god knows how many more that I didn't hear about), but somehow the EYMAN TSU folks got an award for being "courageous" - hahaha! Can you believe that? They beat up deaf, elderly and mentally ill prisoners while hurling racist slurs at them, and they get called "courageous"! Meanwhile the prisoners being sent into the gang-controlled yards day in and day out to be beaten, extorted, and raped are the scum of the earth, as far as DOC is concerned.
In my book, anyone who gangs up with others to attack an unarmed mentally ill deaf person for not jumping to your orders fast enough is a coward - SHAME on the EYMAN TSU! Frankly, Christopher is the guy who should get the award for courage under fire. He has to deal with those cops and other prisoners messing with him all the time, and he doesn't wear body armor and wield guns that shoot pepper balls at people in order to walk that yard, either.
ASPC-Eyman, by the way is the Supermax - and while thye do house some of the sex offenders and gang leaders, they also house some of the most benign, harmless prisoners around. That's because the DOC has been pushing mentally ill and gay men/trans woman into MAX status who are afraid of housing in general population due to threats of violence. THOSE prisoners get more tickets than the perpetrators of violence in AZ DOC prisons, ironically- and refusing an order to house someplace unsafe is a MAJOR ticket, equivalent to committing an assault! They get thrown in the hole, lose privileges, etc.
DOC also apparently has their more political prisoners enrolled in the maximum security in the mental health programs there (for some kind of reprogramming, i presume), while denying mental health services to psychotic prisoners who clearly need it. I just don't understand DOC Director Ryan's logic. No one is getting "better" in his custody at anything but victimizing the vulnerable, and we're spending a lot of money locking people up like they are werewolves when all they need is psychiatric care in a safe setting...
Anyway, here's the notice of what brave souls those TSU officers are: UGH!