Prison Abuse: An Assault on One Is an Assault on All (2021)

rashid_indianaOn Apr 5, 2021, a call to action went out to supporters about officials here at Wabash Valley Corruption Facility (WVCF) shutting off my phone access, because I made several calls bringing outside attention to an assault by guards on another prisoner in my cellblock.

The pigs admitted to people calling the prison on my and the other prisoner’s behalves, that they did indeed deactivate my phone, but in response to the outside pressure had turned it back on within an hour. They evaded questions about the assault, however. Which revealed that their immediate reaction to exposure is concealment. Abuse by the pigs isn’t about any “bad apples,” it’s institutionalized. When abuse happens they all instinctively close ranks to conceal their foul deeds.

But what happened that day is itself more telling, in exposing how pervasive the abuse is.


A Hungry Man Is an Angry Man

There was a recent effort to generate outside pressure to improve our diets here at WVCF, where we suffer constant hunger due to tiny meal portions served by Aramark food company.[1] Nothing has changed in that respect. In fact, the events of April 5th were the result of Aramark’s serving us starvation portions on that morning and the night before.

The previous night, we received a dinner of two lunch meat sandwiches and a cookie. That’s it. That morning, we received a tray containing a small serving of grits and a small piece of cornbread. The dinner and breakfast meals combined didn’t make one nutritious or filling meal. The entire solitary confinement unit was outraged. Several of us threw the breakfast trays back out of the cells onto the floor.

Instead of redressing our issue with the inadequate meals, the pigs decided to make an example of Anthony Martin, another prisoner housed in a cell beneath me.

Although no guards were struck by any of the rejected trays, which surveillance cameras prove, the guard who served trays in our cellblock lied claiming Anthony hit him with his tray. In response, a sergeant Martinez came to the cellblock with a 12oz canister of tear gas threatening to gas Anthony. There was no reason for any use of force, since Anthony was secure in the cell and doing nothing disruptive or threatening.

Regardless, Martinez sprayed him repeatedly with gas, and left the cellblock. Because the cellblocks in the solitary confinement unit where we are housed have no system for evacuating gas when sprayed and the cells have open fronts, the gas drifted into all the other cells contaminating everyone in the cellblock. It is illegal for prison officials to use gas in this manner, but it’s done at WVCF with intentions of assaulting uninvolved bystanders.[2]

Several hours later, Martinez had a team of guards outfitted in full riot armor rush into Anthony’s cell and assault him further although he put up no resistance. He was beaten, choked, and had his shoulder dislocated. This was when I made calls to the outside on his behalf and my phone was immediately deactivated.

Anthony was taken out of the cellblock and put into a holding cell where he remained for several hours. He was never decontaminated of gas, another illegal abuse,[3] and was denied medical care by a nurse Cupp, whose husband is a guard who was part of the armored team that assaulted Anthony.

As a result of his loved ones’ and his own complaints, all of the above abuses of Anthony have been admitted true by administrative officials; namely, that he never struck any guards with his tray and was lied on by the guard, that he was subjected to unnecessary force, that he was denied medical care by a nurse who had a conflict of interest in the situation with her husband as a participant in the attack on Anthony, that he was never decontaminated of the gas, etc.

But of course no one has suffered any consequences for these compounded abuses, nor have I nor any others received any relief for the group assault we suffered with the deliberate abuse of gas.

Such is the institutionalized nature of abuse that inheres in U.S. imprisonment and the “blue line” that its enforcers toe to cover up for and protect each other and the overall system from accountability to the only forces that can fundamentally change it, namely the people.

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




[1] For articles and work around this campaign see,

[2] It is well established that use of chemical weapons under circumstances where bystanders are not protected or provided decontamination by prison officials is unconstitutional. See, Clement v. Gomez, 298 F.3d 898, 904-05 (9th Cir. 2002).

[3] Prisoners subjected to chemical weapons must be immediately decontaminated. Williams v. Benjamin, 77 F.3d 756, 764-66 (4th Cir. 1996)


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