Letter from Jalil Muntaqim

This is a letter written by Jalil Muntaqim who is incarcerated in Attica, and published on his weblog by his supporters.
This is a direct link to his letter and his blog.

Greetings, As Jalil’s Blog keeper, I want to give you the information Jalil sent out regarding on going harassment at Attica, a NYS prison. Please read and respond to his request. Many thanks.

The Facts of Disciplinary Charges:
105.14 Unauthorized Organization
and Disciplinary Hearing of 1/13/12-1/23/12

On the morning of January 5, 2012 , three officers searched D-37-32, the cell where I was being held. As I observed the cell search, Correctional Officer Wagnor removed my photo album and took it with him at the conclusion of the cell search. At approximately 11:20 AM, Officer Wagnor returned the photo album, absent the 14 photos. On January 6, 2012 , I was issued a non-confinement Tier III misbehavior report for violation of 105.14 Unauthorized Organization.

On 1/5/12, during a scheduled counselor interview that I had requested that afternoon, Counselor Schiffer called the correspondence department while I sat in his office and inquired about the photos confiscated from my photo album. He was told by correspondence personnel that the photos should not have been confiscated since they had been approved by correspondence for me to receive. Mr. Krumph refused to allow me to call Correctional Counselor Schiffer to testify on my behalf on January 23, 2012.

On 1/13/12, Superintendent Mark L. Bradt designated Mr. George Krumph to conduct the disciplinary hearing. At that time I informed Mr. Krumph I wanted to call as witnesses Correctional Counselor Schiffer, the correspondence officer, and Sergeant Cochran. Mr. Krumph then postponed the hearing so he could speak to my witnesses.

The correspondence officer would have addressed during the disciplinary hearing whether all procedures pursuant to Directive #4422: Inmate Correspondence were fulfilled, permitting me to receive the photos.

Furthermore, he would have addressed the proper procedure for the process of contraband photos in accord with Directive #4422 to be disposed of if found to be contraband. Mr. Krumph refused to allow me to call the correspondence officer to testify on my behalf on 1/23/12.

Sergeant Cochran, who had been acting as Attica’s “gang intelligence officer,” would have testified as to what should be considered an “unauthorized organization” from his years of intelligence experience at Attica. Also, he would be able to attest to the fact he was present during the processing of my personal property from Auburn. At that time, no contraband photos or literature were found in my personal property, including anything pertaining to “unauthorized organization.” Mr. Krumph refused to allow Sergeant Cochran to testify on my behalf on 1/23/12.
On 1/23/12, Mr. Krumph recommended the disciplinary hearing be postponed again, following the postponement on 1/13/12 to speak to my witnesses. He provided a form for me to sign indicating an extension had been secured for the time delay in conducting the hearing. I respectfully declined to sign the form.

Mr. Krumph then summarily denied all three of my witnesses to testify, and over my objections called Lt. Simmons and introduced him as an expert on “unauthorized organizations.” Lt. Simmons reviewed the 14 photos, immediately declaring them representative of an unauthorized organization. Lt. Simmons never stated what made him an expert; he never identified what in the photos made them unauthorized organizations; he never described or indicated what was in the photos that was incriminating. He just looked at them and parroted that they were indeed “unauthorized organization.”
It was obvious that Lt. Simmons was called specifically to violate each and every opportunity for me to refute the disciplinary charges, having them dismissed and the photos returned to me.

I objected to Lt. Simmons’ testimony and proceeded to present how my defense against the charges was essentially sabotaged, not permitting me to call any of my witnesses. I then presented the Bay View newspaper received on 1/13/12 from the correspondence department.

The front page showed two large photos—one of a picket sign with a large clenched fist, and the other of a young Black guy holding a protest sign in one hand, with the other hand held in the air with a clenched fist. Also, I previously offered other materials received from the correspondence department of similar nature, including the memorial ceremony programs of Cetewayo, Smitty and Karim. None of these, like the photos, had been submitted to media review or any other scrutiny for contraband by the correspondence department before being delivered to me.

Mr. Krumph did not deny or refute that the 14 photos or other materials were delivered to me by the correspondence department in accord with Directive #4422. Mr. Krumph did not respond or refute that I had not violated any rule subject to correspondence in order to obtain the 14 photos. In fact, Mr. Krumph remained mute when I argued I should not be disciplined for photos the correspondence department permitted me to receive.

I objected to the entire proceedings, including the harsh 6 months SHU time, loss of commissary, packages, phone calls, and good time.
I was immediately handcuffed and escorted to SHU.

It should be noted that the 14 photos depicted the memorial ceremony of Cetewayo (Michael Tabor) held at City College in March 2011, in which a Black Panther Party banner was hanging on a wall. Also, a photo at the ceremony depicted young people wearing blue and black giving clenched fist salutes. There were a couple of photos of the 14 that were of Smitty’s memorial with the banner hanging on the back wall while people spoke at the podium. Nothing inflammatory was depicted—hence, the correspondence department approved them to be received.

This is pure harassment indicating the administration’s propensity to flagrantly violate its own rules and regulations.

Anthony Jalil Bottom
#77A-4283
Attica Correctional Facility, SHU

Jalil has been in SHU since Monday, January 23, 2012, with only the clothes on his back. He has not been given any personal property, and was told he probably won’t receive any of it for weeks. He has no phone privileges, no commissary, no packages, and will eventually be allowed 5 books and limited legal materials. He will have only one visit weekly for the duration, and these are no-contact visits which take place in Attica’s SHU.

He is asking that people contact NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Commissioner Brian Fischer, Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry and the New York State Commission on Corrections to demand that the charges be dropped, that he be released from SHU immediately, and that this campaign of harassment come to AN IMMEDIATE END! These charges are entirely fabricated and show premeditation on behalf of the prison administration to lock Jalil away until his next parole hearing in June and to negatively affect the outcome of that hearing.

NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman:
Office of the Attorney General
The Capitol
Albany, NY 12224-0341
(518) 474-5481

Commissioner Brian Fischer
NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision
Building 2
1220 Washington Ave
Albany, New York 12226-2050
(518) 457-8126
Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry
LOB 526
Albany, NY 12248
(518) 455-4561

Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry
98-09 Northern Blvd.
Corona, NY 11368
(718) 457-3615
AubryJ@assembly.state.ny.us

Thomas A. Beilein, Chairman
Phyllis Harrison-Ross M.D., Commissioner
New York State Commission on Corrections
80 Wolf Road, 4th Floor
Albany, New York 12205
Phone: (518) 485-2346
Fax: (518) 485-2467

When you call and/or write, be sure to use Jalil’s DIN number (#77A4283) and refer to him as Anthony Bottom, currently at Attica. We would like to know what responses people receive.

Please send an email to nycjericho@gmail.com or mxcc519@verizon.net to let us know. Also, please take the time to write to Jalil:

Anthony Bottom #77A4283,
Attica Correctional Facility,
P.O. Box 149,
Attica, NY 14011-0149

It is very important that he receive lots of correspondence at this time so he knows he is not forgotten and has our support. Send him a copy of the letters you have written or a short report of your phone calls.

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