Court Report from Wednesday April 6 – Day 3 of the Dallas 6 Trial in Wilkes-Barre, PA
Graphic by Molly Crabapple
The Dallas 6 are six African American prisoner whistleblowers in solitary confinement at SCI Dallas Pennsylvania charged with rioting for peacefully protesting on April 29, 2010 against widespread abuse, violence & torture by prison guards of Black, Latino and white prisoners which they had documented. The remaining three facing charges – Andre Jacobs, Carrington Keys, and Duane Peters – finally have a jury trial after almost six years. For info or to support: scidallas6.blogspot.com. Donations: tinyurl.com/rally4dallas6
Highlights Day 3
Painful videos of the cell extractions were shown. (Some of the video Carrington’s cell extraction can be seen here). Andre Jacobs is heard saying “they are going to kill me” before they carry him out as he is unable to walk. Duane Peters was placed in the restraint chair. Carrington Keys was thrown naked on a cold concrete floor to be body-searched, and his wrists were injured.
Andre questioned Lt Mozier whether he recalls that he had complied and removed the covering on his cell, and why the use of pepper spray.
Carrington questioned the absence of evidence of and testing for feces. Wiseman, attorney for Peters asked why the men fingered in the HRC report are the ones chosen to remove the men from the cells.
Police investigator Corporal Wilson was grilled on why he took three months to file riot charges, and why he never in that time spoke to the men who were charged, why he took the DOC’s word that the men did not want to talk with him. He said, “There are two sides of the story and the truth is somewhere in between.” In a powerful moment, Andre asked if the April 28 incident (what we know is the 15 hours restraint of prisoner Isaac Sanchez) that prompted the April 29 incident was part of his investigation and he said they were not related.
graphic by Molly Crabapple
The videos of the actual cell extractions, as opposed to the lead up to the extractions, were finally shown. Pepper spray is sprayed into the tiny cells before extraction and you can hear the men coughing. The guards rush into the cells of the men who are not resisting in any way, and Carrington Keys is heard saying “I am not resisting.” Two of the men have covered their faces and head to prevent the guards from pulling their hair and to protect themselves from the pepper spray.
Lt Mozier was questioned about his awareness of the reports of abuse and asked if it was a staged incident in retaliation. Andre also said the video showed he had complied with the order to remove the covering so it was not true that “at no time did he comply” and why was that not in the official report. Also missing from the report was his telling them that he feared for his life. Attorney Wiseman called the judge’s attention to the vigorous head shaking that an officer of the DOC was doing in the gallery which she said had to stop. Another witness was removed from the court who should not have been there.
Carrington Keys asked why, if there was feces thrown, did it take two hours to go to medical when the rule is to report contact with bodily fluid immediately, and nothing was mentioned in the videotape of the debriefing, no injuries reported, and no evidence of the clothing that was allegedly contaminated was preserved?
Attorney Wiseman’s questioning focused on the brutal aspects of the force used, from electric shocks to pepper spray to restraint chairs. He also cleared up that there were no hostages, which was implied by the psychologist who was called in from the hostage negotiating team.
Andre Jacobs questioned Corporal Wilson who filed the riot charges. He asked why he never interviewed him to ascertain if there was legitimate purpose for their action. He also asked the Corporal if he had a financial interest in this case as he is mentioned in a lawsuit, but the objection by the DA to that question was sustained. Finally, why was the April 28 incident that provoked the April 29 action not included in his investigation? Carrington Keys asked how he could identify him when he didn’t even meet him. Attorney Wiseman hammered on why he did not interview the men for his investigation, how one-sided the investigation was, why he didn’t go to the prison and ask to meet the men, and how could he possibly know their intent was to bring the violence of cell extraction down on themselves.
The day ended with the testimony and questioning of two of the guards who had been part of the cell extraction team. The first said that a liquid substance was thrown but it hit the shield and splattered on him on the sleeve and gloves. But Carrington Keys questioned how that could have happened when he was the last man in, and why the medical report said he was hit with a cup of urine and feces on his head, and why when the extraction was at 10:15 the medical report was not until 12noon. Further, why when he wrote an incident report was the throwing of urine and feces not mentioned. The guard replied that he only reported what he did, not what was done to him. Andre asked if he had met with the DA and on how many occasions.
Trial is continuing today, Thursday April 7, and then will resume on Monday April 11.
Daily coverage of the trial by NBC 28 Scranton (Note: exact link may have changed, you may have to search video on website)
Times-Leader (Luzerne County):
Jury seated for trial of 3 inmates accused of instigating prison riot
Prosecutors: ‘Straightforward’ charges against members of ‘Dallas 6’
CAN YOU COME?
Trial is expected to last five days. Cars will be coming from Philly daily but you need to COMPLETE THE ONLINE CHECK-IN if you need a ride or can provide a ride from Philly or Pittsburgh, and/or would like to stay overnight – http://tinyurl.com/dallas6check-in
CAN’T COME? WE STILL NEED YOUR HELP!
MAKE A DONATION! Online at http://tinyurl.com/rally4dallas6 or send check/money order payable to Abolitionist Law Center, P.O. Box 8654 Pittsburgh PA 15221 Memo line: Dallas 6
DROP THE CHARGES!
For those who can’t make it to the trial but want to show support, please take part in a CALL-IN/FAX-IN to the DA demanding she drop charges. Details and talking points at – http://tinyurl.com/dallas6letter
Dallas 6 online:
Blog – http://scidallas6.blogspot.com/
Facebook – http://tinyurl.com/packthecourtd6
Twitter – Follow @madinah7 for trial updates
Twitter Hashtags – #Dallas6 #Justice4Dallas6
Video – March for freedom – March 18, 2016 – http://tinyurl.com/d6marchforfreedom
Truthout article by Shandre Delaney:
“Dallas 6” Prisoners Face Trial for Protesting Abuse in Solitary Confinement
Letter to Luzerne County District Attorney to dismiss the charges against the Dallas 6, endorsed by the PA Council of Churches and signed by over 75 representatives of faith-based organizations.
Contact: Shandre Delaney, mother of one of the Dallas 6; Human Rights Coalition 412-403-6101
Phoebe Jones, Justice for the Dallas 6 Support Campaign; Global Women’s Strike 610-505-4944
Justice for the Dallas 6 Support Campaign: Abolitionist Law Center; Every Mother is a Working Mother Network; Fight for Lifers West; Germantown Friends Meeting Mass Incarceration Working Group; Global Women’s Strike & Women of Color@GWS – US; Human Rights Coalition – Fed Up; Human Rights Coalition – Philadelphia; Marcellus Shale Earth First; Mishkan Shalom New Jim Crow Study-Action Group; Payday men’s network; Peacehome Campaigns; Shalefield Organizing Committee. Endorsements: Art for Justice; Brandywine Peace Community; California Families Against Solitary Confinement (CFASC); The Center for Returning Citizens (TCRC); Decarcerate PA; Defending Dissent Foundation; Global Women’s Strike & Women of Color@GWS – UK; Green Party of Philadelphia (GPOP); Human Rights Defense Center – Lake Worth, Florida; Jewish Voice For Peace – Philadelphia; People’s Opposition to War Imperialism and Racism (POWIR) – Hollywood, Florida; Philadelphia Coalition for REAL Justice; San Francisco Bay View newspaper; Sin Barras – Without (Prison) Bars – Santa Cruz; T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights; WHAT’S UP?! Pittsburgh; Welfare Warriors; Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) – Philadelphia. Individual Endorsements: Pam Africa, International Concerned Family and Friends of Mumia Abu-Jamal; Patrice Armstead, Building People’s Power and Coalition Demanding Reinstatement of Dr. Monteiro; Malik Aziz, Founder, Men United for a Better Philadelphia and Chairman, National Exhoodus Council; Pastor Antoinette Johnson, King Solomon Baptist Church; Dr. Anthony Monteiro; Rev. Bob Moore, Executive Director, Coalition for Peace Action (for id purposes only); Margaret Prescod, host of “Sojourner Truth” on Pacifica Radio; Dr. Heather Ann Thompson, Professor of African American Studies & History, Temple University; Dr. Cornel West, Princeton University; Dr. Carla Willard, Africana Studies Program, Franklin & Marshall College. Partnering with: AFSC Prison Watch.
March for Freedom for the Dallas 6 at the Luzerne County Courthouse, March 18, 2016