-details to follow as trial approaches-
In the past three plus years I’ve been in the SHU (segregated housing unit), I’ve been directly aware of nine hangings. That is, occurred either on my range, in my cell, or near enough that I could hear the body hit the ground. Some of these were “cries for help”, some were serious, all were scarring and devastating. Almost always BOP staff hides behind either indifference towards our lives, or bureaucratic policy to avoid actually helping… at USP Atlanta they rushed in and yanked the prisoner down (by the legs), slapping them, yelling to “be a man, not a bitch!” at other institutions they laugh, yelling to quit faking.
Two years ago here at Englewood Levi hung up, and it took minutes before his door was opened… The guards who cared (there were a few), hamstrung by the policies they were too worried to violate. While some officers were distraught, others laughed calling Levi a “Turkish piñata”… rage swelling in my chest seeing how a desperate death could be mocked and belittled… at that time in the SHU we were not allowed radios, newspapers, magazines or personal books. We were told to deal with it “don’t come to SHU if you can’t handle it”. Neverminded the fact that for some.. the SHU came to us, we could not avoid it, escape it, work our way out. You handle it or become a “piñata”.
A few nights ago, Englewood’s evening staff displayed its humanity and treated a human life like a human life. My next door neighbor hung from his sprinkler, his awoken cellt lifting up his legs to relieve the pressure, screaming for help… and it came…the C.O’s Rushing in to get him down, the Lieutenant wasting no time, there would be no Levi repeat. Bravo really.
Despite this redeeming display, there will be more acts of desperation because being in the SHU pretrial is an exhausting, deeply desperate situation. We are allowed radios (if you have $70 to spend), you can have reading material mailed in (if you have people to do it) but those things mean little in the late of the night, these tiny 6×8 noise boxes allow little comfort, yet plenty of despair. People who suffer withdrawal while the pharmacist refuses to institute the MAT program ). People suffer anxiety, anger, migraines after losing access to coffee cold turkey, we suffer the loss of loving contact, going months or years being denied physical contact with our families during the most stressful periods of our lives. We still only see one hour outside a day, pacing around in a degrading dog kennel, most still only get one 15 minute phone call a week. My visiting situation is better than most (after a year plus during the pandemic with no visits or calls I have For the last couple months been allowed 1 hour visit a week) while the phone situation is worse… but for me right now visits>calls.
The first time in my bid I can say that it isn’t even the staff that are the issue, back here right now we are being treated more decent, often guards will go out of their way to be respectful. The major issue is they are also constrained by policies. Personnel isn’t the problem, policy is the problem, the SHU is the problem. The bureau leadership and policies they author. The problems are limitless… the lack of information, the once a week chance to get any news only to be told “nothing”, the stress of trying to fight your case with drastically limited access to your legal team (and family and friends), the constant noise that refutes any hopes of thinking clearly for a minute, the being stuck and knowing all the kindness or good behavior in the world won’t open that door. That combination would break the strongest back and it often does.
This (FCI Englewood) is the “easiest” SHU possible, and people still hang here, because even the softest SHU is a soul crippling death trap… we still have to beg and plead for medical attention, we still sleep directly next to our toilets… we still can’t hug or kiss our families. We are stuck.. long-term segregation must be abolished, the people who are chosen to write policies should not exist unchecked and have limitless ways to torture at their disposal, non-contact visits must be reverted back to contact, basic comforts like real hygiene and coffee must be allowed for purchase, access to information and those who have it must be increased. We need out of these cages.
Abolish the SHU, abolish state domination.
Anarchy Always (A)
“Despite the Court’s conclusion that factors one through four weigh in favor of the voluntary nature of Defendant’s statements, those factors simply do not outweigh the coercive effect that the physical and psychological suffering at the hands of BOP officials apparently had on Defendant.5 Therefore, in light of the foregoing, the Court finds that the Government has not met its burden to demonstrate that Defendant’s statements at the interview were voluntary. Accordingly, the Court concludes that Defendant’s will was overborne such that his statements on August 20, 2018 were involuntary and must be suppressed.”
At Eric’s disciplinary hearing on October 15th a federal judge for the first time was able to hear a bit of the abuse that Eric suffered at the hands of the Bureau of prisons. Because of this the court has granted the right to suppress Eric’s involuntarily statements during his interrogation.
below you can read Eric’s entire testimony from the hearing
This is a poem from October/2016 from when Eric was just two months into his time at FCI Englewood, the start of his journey into this BOP nightmare.
Am I allowed to breathe?
Is that a punishable offense
Am I allowed to feel
Is that a shot?
Are my thoughts read
like my letters
Scanned and stored
to be used against me later
My dreams disected and distorted
Tearing apart the meanings
Digging for something
Does my every firing neuron
Have sinister intentions
Public access to Eric King’s evidentiary hearing
A federal judge has modified Eric King’s right to a public hearing
Alone n the courtroom as he has been in communication for the last year and a half
9:30 AM Mountain 877-336-1828 9449909#
If you are denied access or if technical issues disrupt your access please call and make a report with NLG legal line 720-822-5893
Eric’s pretrial conference and trial has been delayed until an evidentiary hearing can be carried out. The date of which has not been announced yet. More info will follow
Not the post we wanted to be making, but on July 7th after his communication restrictions expired SIS (special investigation services) from FCI Englewood gave him word that they were renewing the expired restrictions. For another 6 months, Eric will be unable to communicate with anyone who is not family. This will bring him to a total of a year and a half being held incommunicado from the public when this restriction ends. Like the last two blocks this one comes without much explanation other than a general statement about how his communication might pose a threat to the institution and to the public.
Below is his previous communication restriction paperwork
The first communication restriction was given to him 2 months into the pandemic.
It’s a weird flex for the BOP to remove a prisoner’s only method of communication with the world 2 months into a global pandemic. (Even though he was approved for visits and the CARES act allowed him to conduct them over the phone FCI Englewood did not provide his first sporadic call until almost a year later. ) The pandemic brought instead of compassion, isolation and a life of constant attack via the federal officers at FCI Englewood.
While this is a typical move when it comes to a prisoner the bureau wants to silence, it is complete deprivation from his community and the outside world.
Today marks 1,056 days of being held in segregation without even a reason.
Eric’s communication restrictions are set to expire July 7th!
The last time the restrictions expired it took him about 2 weeks to receive his first piece of mail. Then after 2 weeks the bureau renewed the restrictions for 6 more months.
There is a good chance that they will attempt to restrict communication again at some point so this may be the only chance to get letters into him.
Eric King #27090-045
9595 West Quincy Avenue
Littleton, CO 80123
Please send letters in a white envelope on white paper, no postcards or greeting cards.
Eric is also pretrial right now so avoid conversations about his case please!