Shots Fired

Kamau Jones

Prison Focus Issue 53
Fall 2017

I’d like to open this article with a quote from the noble Quran: “he (Allah) who taught the use of the pen – taught man that which he knew not.” (Chpt. 96: verse: 4-5)
I used this verse to open my letter to the San Francisco Bay View, an excellent newspaper of which I greatly appreciate, to share a piece of my character and my integrity, as a revolutionary. One of innumerable Black-Muslim men confined in the “trenches” of Amerika’s Injustice System of Oppression = “New Jim Crow.” It’s ever incumbent upon every righteous-minded and sincerely believing Muslim, to stand up against injustice, corruption and oppression.

So this pen is my “weapon of choice,” which shall allow light to be shed on the “dark secrets” behind the “Iron Wall” of Pelican Bay State Prison, infamously known to the public and media as “Skeleton Bay!”. This, due to its past cruelty and notoriety.

On May 24, 2017, at approximately 10:30 am, simultaneous Mini-14 Rifle fire rang out like “Strong burst of thunder!” I didn’t personally witness the chaos and mayhem, but nearly one hour later, the Correctional Officers started to bring fellow inmates back in the Units via escort, one at a time. Upon one African-American entering the B-Section Unit, I could clearly observe the “grim look upon his face,” and all he could say was: “It was ugly!”

Right then, I knew that the barrage-volley of bullet-fire I had heard, was in fact FIRED INDISCRIMINATELY at Southern Hispanics here on B-Facility. I’ve had time to do my inquiry as to this incident as far as conversing with men who were on the Yard during the initial incident, which quickly turned brutally violent and perhaps even deadly! It has been conveyed by those present, that a one-on-one fight between Southern Mexicans broke-out and upon the C/O’s observing the mutual combat, which didn’t involve any type of “weapon,” they approached in running form and began immediately using “pepper spray,” and detonating a few “gas bombs.”

Now, I’d like to here be perfectly clear, again, THESE INMATES DIDN’T POSSESS ANY WEAPONS AND ONLY USED “FISTICUFFS!,” WHICH THE C/Os OBSERVED. As the C/O’s are screaming loudly for the two combatants to “get down!,” they ignored the command, continuing their brawl. The Officers then aggressively and unnecessarily, indeed with “malicious intent;” began BEATING them (HUMAN BEINGS) with CDCR’s standard issued “Metal Batons” = “Nigger Sticks!”

The Officers wouldn’t stop hitting them, even as onlookers screamed at the C/Os to do so. However, the Officers disregarded these Southern Mexican Inmates concerns, and instead continued to beat the two Inmates whom were, again, prone out on the ground as the fighting between them was basically over! Because the concerns of the Southern Mexicans Inmates were dismissed, they were forced to go to the DEFENSIVE AID of their loved ones and as they did, the Mini 14 Assault Rifle rounds bean ringing out with deliberate-focused aim!

Once the “smoke and dust cleared,” a total of “NINETEEN BULLET ROUNDS” were FIRED from multiple Gun-Towers (e.g., from the Housing Units and Gym Tower). The local news claimed that “five Inmates suffered gun-shot wounds” and that “Eight Officers suffered injuries, none of which were life-threatening.” I’m not 100% sure if it’s accurate or not, some people here say that the Inmates whom were SHOT, of them ONE WAS DECEASED! I’ve now been at Pelican Bay State Prison for over three years and have been incarcerated for twenty three years, twenty of which have been here on Level IV Facilities across California.

These environments, in which a most clear “racial-class dichotomy exist” that US & THEM!, for the mass-incarcerated = repressed Inmates have been and remain filled with direct and indirect hostilities from C/Os. Many of them, are filled with bitter resentment and extreme arrogance towards the Prisoner-Class, i.e., believing that they can do or say whatever they want to us, as if we’re not human beings deserving of respect and dignity, while in the same breath desiring that “we” extend and display these mannerisms towards them!

I want to here be perfectly clear: WE DON’T CARE HOW MUCH THEY MAY HATE OR DISLIKE US, BUT THEY HAVE A DUTY TO CARRY THEMSELVES WITH HIGHER PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS. Also, let me emphasize that not all Officers share these negative sentiments towards Inmates as in truth, there are those whom are very courteous and respectful. However, for those whom dislike Inmates for whatever personal reasons “which YOU might have,” let me say that: WE STAND UNIFIED UNDER A RACIAL-CLASS OF MEN SUFFERING UNDER SIMILAR CONDITIONS OF REPRESSION AND DEHUMANIZING DEPRIVATION OF OUR RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS.
As such, as the WISE LESSONS HAVE BEEN LEARNED and TAKEN TO HEART, we’ll NEVER SIMPLY RESORT TO OUR “OLD IGNORANT WAYS” OF RACIAL HATRED AND MISGUIDED ANIMOSITIES TOWARDS ONE ANOTHER, WHICH WERE TIME AND TIME AGAIN, THEIR TACTIC IN THE PAST TO “DIVIDE & CONQUER” US, BUT WHICH TODAY SHALL FAIL TO WORK. We are unafraid of their “secret schemes” and diabolical tactics. UNAFRAID of their bullets and weapons as well as YOUR disregard for our lives. We STAND STRONG, UNBROKEN WITH DIGNITY, DISCIPLINE and FORTITUDE. Fighting with passion, ambition and determination to live as MEN, and doing whatever we are able to eradicate a system which keeps our minds and bodies repressed and oppressed…for far too long!

We must/shall remain focused, committed, organized and aware of our COLLECTIVE OBJECTIVES. We’ll only succeed as long as we continue to be cognizant of OUR STRENGTHS, OUTSIDE SUPPORT and VITAL PURPOSE. A “revolution” starts with one spark and with one small ember can set a nation ablaze…In Peace/Solidarity!!!

overflow: scroll;