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Prison Activist Gassed in Clements Unit Prison, Texas Law Enforcement Is Violently Out of Control

December 29, 2016

4strugglemag’s resident artist, Rashid Johnson, urgently needs your help.

Sign this petition to demand that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice complies with the following:

1. Immediately provide medical attention to Kevin “Rashid” Johnson before returning him to a decontaminated cell
2. Immediately return/replace his stolen legal materials and commissary items
3. Prosecute the guards who gassed Kevin “Rashid” Johnson for neglecting post-contamination procedure
4. Protect Clements Unit guard Britta Townsend from physical and administrative retaliation
5. Stop the gassing of prisoners at Clements Unit

Why is this important?

On Wednesday, December 21, 2016, a prisoner at the Texas Clements Unit, Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, was gassed in his cell while handcuffed from behind. A letter written by Mr. Johnson to a supporter, dated December 22, 2016, reported that his gassing was “all retaliation for my involvement in exposing the foul abuses here.” Kevin “Rashid” Johnson is a well known scholar and prison activist who has dedicated his efforts to exposing the civil and environmental injustices behind bars.

His most recent letter also reads:
“I’m in a gas-covered cell now. The law requires that they decontaminate a prisoner and his cell anytime they spray gas on him/her. They refused in my case. My sheets and bedding are covered in bright orange gas, underwear too, as is the cell wall.” According to the supporter who received Rashid’s letter, she could smell the toxic gas as soon as she opened the envelope.

The vicious treatment of Mr. Johnson is part of a clear pattern. There is evidently a culture among prison staff that encourages such sadistic behavior. What they have done and continue to do — both to Mr. Johnson and to thousands of other victims — constitutes a clear violation of basic human rights.

A signed statement from prison guard Britta Townsend corroborates that Mr. Johnson was confined to a gassed cell that was not decontaminated and forced to sleep with sheets covered with the bright orange gas. According to Mr. Johnson, Ms. Townsend now fears that she will be targeted by her peers and higher ranking officers.

 

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