RELEASE: Preliminary Hearing Friday for the Dallas 6
Prisoners assaulted by guards charged with “Riot” for peaceful protest
Contact: Andy Switzer firstname.lastname@example.org (267) 269-5448
Bret Grote email@example.com (412) 654-9070
Rescheduled preliminary hearings will take place this Friday for six men charged with “Riot” for staging a peaceful protest against racism, food deprivation, physical and psychological abuse in the solitary confinement unit at the State Correctional Institution (SCI) at Dallas. The hearings will take place at 9:00 a.m. in front of the Trucksville Magistrate, James Tupper at 11 Carverton Road, Trucksville, PA.
On April 25, 2009, guards at SCI Dallas intensified their campaign of retaliation and intimidation against prisoners who had cooperated with the Human Rights Coalition in the publication of a 93-page report detailing starvation, brutality, racism, guard encouragement of suicide, and cover-up by prison officials. On April 28, guards attacked Isaac Sanchez with pepper spray and electro-shock weapons, leaving him naked and strapped to a restraint chair for approximately 16 hours.
The following day, Andre Jacobs, Carrington Keys, Duane Peters-El, Derrick Stanley, Anthony Locke, and Anthony Kelly covered the windows of their solitary confinement cells and demanded that abusive guards be removed from the block, and they be permitted to speak with media or the public defender’s office. All 6 were beaten, tasered, pepper-sprayed, and left naked and bleeding in restraints for hours.
The Human Rights Coalition filed a criminal complaint with the District Attorney of Luzerne County. Assistant DA David Pedri rejected the complaint without even speaking with victims or prisoner witnesses. In November, Pedri rejected earlier complaints on the grounds that the violated statutes were not cited, despite the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure stating that such citations were not required.
The results of an HRC investigation into the April attacks against the Dallas 6/7 were documented in a 25-page report, Resistance and Retaliation, released in August. This incident was also brought to light in front of a Pa. House Judiciary Committee hearing on August 2nd.
Shandre Delaney, the mother of Carrington Keys and an HRC member, said this type of prosecution is a standard tactic: “The prison and their friends in the DA’s office want to turn reality on its head and make the oppressor look like the victim and the oppressed look like the aggressor. They’ve tried it before, but it won’t work this time.”
Human Rights Coalition-Philadelphia Human Rights Coalition-Pittsburgh
HRC Support Committee FedUp! Chapter