rashid-2013-self-portrait1WHAT I’VE BEEN UP TO

A number of comrades, supporters, and friends have been on my case recently, asking why I’ve fallen behind in various political tasks and haven’t generated many articles over the past two months (mid-Feb through mid-April 2021).

Because I am accountable to the people, and am relied on to fulfill a number of responsibilities, I do owe everyone an explanation and account for what I’ve been up to. It can actually be summed up with one word: litigation.

For someone who’s admitted having little tactical and organizational skill, the intellectual activist Noam Chomsky made a valid tactical observation some years back, when he stated that litigation is an extraordinarily time consuming political tactic. This is especially so for one like me who litigates without the assistance of attorneys, and has to hand-draft all of my legal filings, which are often dozens of pages long.

For the past couple months I’ve been busy litigating not only on my own behalf, but also that of other prisoners around me who have been victims of extreme abuse, but don’t know how to navigate the legal system.

Because those abuses are of the sorts I often write about in articles, I’m going to describe some of those incidents and the present developments of the resultant lawsuits.



Kristopher Kanable is a prisoner I’ve been helping litigate against several brutal assaults by guards and denied care for his injuries by prison medical staff. He has two active lawsuits. The records of both cases can be read on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

The first incident occurred on Aug 15, 2018, in the solitary confinement unit at Indiana’s Pendleton Correctional Facility (PCF).

At around 8pm on that date, a guard, Thomas Coble, was at a neighboring cell wildly spraying a fire extinguisher, which caused water to spray in on Kris and his property. When Kris spoke up about this, Coble remarked, “You’ll get over it,” then directly sprayed him in the face and body. An argument ensued.

A sergeant Nathaniel Wion then came to the cell and ordered Kris to back up to his barred cell door to be handcuffed from behind. As he was complying with being handcuffed, these guards began spraying Kris with tear gas. He was then brought out of the cell, blinded from the gas and cuffed from behind, at which time both guards beat him at length.

As Kris was taken from his cell to a downstairs area, he was repeatedly choked, kicked and punched by both guards, slammed into walls, and had his head repeatedly rammed into steel door framings, stair rails, and other fixtures.

As a result, he suffered several severe lacerations to his face and head, and bruising throughout his entire body. Wion’s knuckles were even imprinted in bruises on Kris’s head. In fact, Wion broke his hand beating Kris. When taken to a shower area to be allowed, per protocol, to wash off the gas, he was made to dry off with a towel that had been sprayed with gas.

He was then seen by a nurse, Brittany Grove, who refused him any care, leaving him with severe injuries and bleeding profusely from the head. Kris was taken back to his cell where the bleeding wouldn’t stop, and had to be rushed to a hospital on orders of another nurse and doctor where he received x-rays, CAT scans and multiple stitches to his head.

Kris was soon thereafter transferred to Wabash Valley Correctional Facility (WVCF). While at WVCF, another prisoner helped him draft and file the initial lawsuit against the involved guards, medical staff, and others concerning the assault and denied care.[1] He was soon separated from that prisoner, and having no prior litigation experience or knowledge, Kris had no idea what to do from there.

I met him not long after and have since helped him with the lawsuit, which has taken several interesting turns in his favor.

Just getting the defendants served with the lawsuit in order to get the proceedings started was a fight, since every one of them tried to avoid being served. Once we got that done, Wion refused to file a response or even defend against the suit.

Instead, Wion and his wife filed a Chapter 7 claim in bankruptcy court, admitting he was liable to Kris in the sum of $400,000 based upon the claims in the lawsuit, and asked the court to discharge this debt.

We filed a motion to have an attorney appointed to represent Kris in the bankruptcy case, which was granted. The appointed lawyer moved to deny Wion’s bankruptcy claim, which was also granted on Mar 24, 2021, with the judge ruling that Kris:

“may proceed in federal court case 1:20-cv-00412-JPH-DML to seek a determination whether the actions of Nathaniel A. Wion Sr. caused damages with willful and malicious intent and are therefore non-dischargeable in this bankruptcy case.”[2]

Wion’s refusal to file any response or defense to Kris’s lawsuit worked further to Wion’s detriment. We filed a motion to have Wion found in default, which means the court would find him guilty of the abuses he was sued for because he failed to deny or defend against the suit.

On Apr 9, 2021, the court ruled on the default motion ordering Wion to answer or defend against the lawsuit by or before Apr 28, 2021, or he would be found in default. To date Wion has still not responded to the lawsuit.

The second assault on Kris occurred on May 5, 2020, in WVCF’s solitary confinement unit. I helped Kris prepare and file the lawsuit on that incident.[3]

On Apr 9, 2021, the court screened the lawsuit to determine its legal merit, and allowed it to proceed. Since the screening order gives the basic facts of the assault, denied medical care, and the legal merits, I’ll quote from the order in relevant part:

“Mr. Kanable alleges the following. On May 5, 2020, Officers Hart and White handcuffed Mr. Kanable from behind to escort him from his cell to the shower. Without provocation, Officer Hart pushed Kanable into a wall, and Officer White jumped on Mr. Kanable’s back. Officer White pushed Mr. Kanable’s face and neck into the floor with his full body weight. As a result, Mr. Kanable’s neck snapped loudly and he felt severe, immediate pain, neck immoblility, dizzy spells, and disrupted sleep. Mr. Kanable sought medical attention for his injuries and was seen by Dr. Rajoli and Nurse Pearison on June 2, 2020. During that visit, Nurse Pearison told Dr. Rajoli not to help Mr. Kanable because he was hurt as a result of his own behavior. Due to Nurse Pearison’s remarks Dr. Rajoli refused care for Mr. Kanable. Mr. Kanable only received medical care when he moved to a different housing unit and seen by a different doctor and nurses.

“Based on the screening standard set forth above, Mr. Kanable’s Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference claims SHALL PROCEED against Dr. Rajoli and Nurse Pearison. Additionally, his Eighth Amendment excessive force claim SHALL PROCEED against officer Hart and Officer White.”

The defendants were served with the lawsuit by the court on Apr 9, 2021, so we await their responses and further development of the case.

I’ve also been actively assisting several other prisoners with grievances and litigations against abuses.



I have two recently initiated federal lawsuits brought on my own behalf against Indiana Department of Corrections (or rather Corruption) (IDOC) officials, medical and dental staff at PCF, and Wexford L.L.C., which provides medical, dental and mental health services to prisoners within the IDOC under contract.

These cases raise several claims surrounding abuses I experienced while at PCF from 2018 through 2020, including destructions of my legal and personal property, denied receipt of media and mail without notice to publishers and correspondents under blatantly illegal pretexts, unjustified confinement in long term solitary under inhumane conditions, denied communications with attorneys, denied access to mental health services because I would not agree to disclosure of those confidential communications with non-mental health officials, repeated and aggravated bystander tear gas assaults in PCF’s solitary confinement unit because of frequent abuse of gas on prisoners without any system for evacuating gas from the cellblocks, deliberate uses of defective dental equipment that caused me painful dental damage and fillings that kept falling out and repeated delays in providing care for those dental problems, and so on.

One of the lawsuits has been screened and served on the defendants, and their attorneys have appeared and filed defenses on their behalves. The other is pending screening by the judge.



These litigations on my and others’ behalves are what has been consuming most of my time and diverting me from various other things over the past couple months (mid-Feb through mid-Apr 2021). Not to mention the extensive legal research and study I have had to do to familiarize myself with the relevant laws here in Indiana (I am a Virginia prisoner who was interstate transferred to Indiana in 2018, with no prior experience with Indiana courts or its laws). And while legal opporcoonists who stage as legal activists, like attorney Benjamin Crump, who ambulance chases high profile victims of police terror to the end of generating personal celebrity and immense personal wealth, I give legal help to other prisoners freely and do not seek nor accept any form of compensation for it.

This, is what I’ve been up to.


Dare to Struggle Dare to Win!
All Power to the People!



[1] Kanable v. Coble, et al., case # 1:20-cv-00412-JPH-DML, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana.

[2] In re: Nathaniel Allen Wion, Sr. and Laura Faith Wion, case # 19-07143-JMC-7, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Indiana.

[3] Kanable v. Rajoli, et al., case # 2:20-cv-00633-JMS-MG, U.S. District Court, Southrn District of Indiana


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