Durham utilizes crime, poverty and despair to tear at the infrastructure of America

4-18-16

Hello,

This is Jason L., sorry I haven’t had the chance to write you as often as I would have liked to. I’m trying to work my time away and I am within 24 days of release from this God-forsaken hellhole I have been caged up in for the past 13.5 months! I would like to express my thanks to you and all of the people out there fighting to have voices of men and women trapped here for various insufficient reasons. Also, thank you for posting our letter in this last issue of “feedback.” Continue reading

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‘We all matter, not just those in higher positions in life’

What’s going on —,

This letter here is in regards to all inmates, the signatures are in accordance with those who are in full agreement of the “First Five Grieving Committee of the Durham County Jail.” The 2nd letter to whom it may concern is not based according to thoughts or opinions, it’s based according to outside resources and research done in accordance to the agencies or departments stated. This letter was written and prepared by —. We’re supporting him in agreement. We would  LOVE to see this taken seriously and put into investigation on such governmental officials. What needs to be done NOW!!!!, which would be nice, is them stepping up and proving all of us in Durham County Jail wrong. I would also love it if you would post this on your Facebook page and tag it to my page. Thanks for all your support. Stay in touch. God Bless You All, IOA. Continue reading

‘Being treated equally is not in the math!’

Dear —

How are you? I hope all is well and that you are making progress in your efforts to support the inmates of the Durham D.C.J…Well I received your letter a couple weeks back. I guess it would be better to say last year lol, but anyways it was nice of you to write me back. I was in the window that night you all had the street blocked off and wouldn’t let anyone through. Power is in numbers and you all have surely proven that…Hard work and perseverance brings forth results and you all are working super hard for us and I want to thank you and the rest of inside-outside alliance for all help, care and support. Continue reading

19 November, We Remember: Chuy Huerta and Joe Hill, Presente!

Two years ago today, Durham lost Jesus “Chuy” Huerta, who died in the back of a police cruiser in the parking lot of the Durham Police Department Headquarters, after being detained by patrolman Samuel Duncan for an old trespassing warrant. To this day, DPD chief Jose Lopez has not publicly acknowledged that his department is responsible for Chuy’s death. One of Lopez’s last acts, before his ‘retirement’ Dec. 31, should be to be accountable to Chuy’s family, his friends, classmates, and the entire Durham community, and admit his own fault, as well as Duncan’s and the entire department’s. And perhaps our charge as residents should be to make the swath of grass and gardens at Trinity and Washington streets a memorial to Chuy, to a life cut short by police, and as a reminder to never forget.

 

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Reaching a little farther back in history, we also take a moment today to pay tribute to the legacy of Joe Hill, as it marks 100 years since the state of Utah killed him by firing squad. The great bard and songwriter of the Industrial Workers of the World was in that state organizing miners when the authorities framed him on a murder charge. While these two deaths may seem to have little in common but a date, they both produced collective outpourings of grief and rage. Whereas a century ago, the state was in the business of framing and putting to death radical immigrants who organized to overturn the status quo, these days, although repression of radical activists is alive and well, the state–in the form of the police–more often sows fear by cutting down young Black and Brown people before they can even grow to full bloom. When Joe Hill told the firing squad “Fire” (his last word), he knew full well he was dying a martyr. Oscar Grant, Jonathan Ferrell, Chuy Huerta, Michael Brown, and so many others had no such knowledge when they inexplicably lost their lives at the hands of police. Thus, we may want to update Joe Hill’s famous directive to Take time to mourn–and ORGANIZE.

joe-hill-a-pamphletAnd despite Joe saying no one ever reads a pamphlet more than once, we also offer again this pamphlet, written at the time of the protests surrounding Chuy’s death in 2013.

 

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‘If the jail were demolished would it be missed?’

June 19

Hello,

This letter that u sent on June 1 and received by DCJ June 4 delivered to me June 19. Crazy huh.

How are you? I’m fine under the circumstances. I’ve read and understand all of the documents sent and am moved with compassion knowing that we are not forgotten. Continue reading

Lies and more lies

We got the letters from the sheriff slid under our doors around 2 AM the night of the protest (April 17). This letter, just like their statement on the news, is full of lies.

He says that it is not punishment but implemented for safety issues. If that were the case–why were all of the blocks placed on lockdown instead of the offending parties?

He states that it has to do with assaults on officers–even you said that on the news they said it was because an inmate overpowered an officer–this is not true. Even when one of us so much as kicks his door or refuses to go to his/her room, they “call code,” which means they speak a code over the radios, and any free officer in the building rushes to that block in case they need to get “physical.” I’ve witnessed officers break up fights between inmates and beat them in their faces with their fists just cause they were mad or just cause they could. No inmate(s) would jump on an officer cause we know that we might not survive it. Continue reading

Ripping Our Black Families Apart

Well, I am currently incarcerated for drug charges and weapon charges. Yo, I am writing this letter to let you guys know how I feel. First, I would like to say that this ‘stop the police violence’ protest is very well needed. I myself have been assaulted by the so-called law enforcers. I mean, this is just scratching the surface.

First, let’s talk about this unjust court of law. We are guilty until proven innocent. You are in front of a judge and the DA. One is there to make you look like a monster, the other is there to judge you. How can one talk about you and judge you when they are just as dirty? They hide what they do behind closed doors.

Second thing is corrupt police. To me, they are the biggest gang in the world. Let me take you back to 2004: the murder of Antonyo Rochell (Smurf) who was gunned down by a police officer. He was suspended with pay. WTF kind of punishment is that for taking a young black life in Durham, NC? Let’s fast forward to 2013 when a hispanic man was murdered in the back of a police car in Durham. Let’s talk about multiple reports on Durham police assaulting, harassing, and beating our young black males or our black males period. Also, putting fake and stacking additional charges on our people. And this is not just us blacks but our hispanics as well.

What do we do as a people? How do we protect ourselves from the police? Who protects us from the police – ‘the law’? Last time I checked they uphold the law. It’s already crazy in those streets. You have gangbang shootings every night, in turf wars. I mean, I am confused. I feel safer and take my chances with the gangbangers than the police. And that’s only the half.

The way I see, we are all out for our self. We as a people, the government, has and have ripped my family and our black families apart and continue ripping our family apart—by letting the police get away with murder, by giving us long lengths of time in prison, and jail cells leave a black woman and baby to raise a black man by herself. I am just saying, we need to fix this. It’s been real.

Sincerely,
C.B.