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They say the police said I was a snitch, but what does that make you?

December 18, 2017

by Shaka Shakur

Did they tell you that I snitched about the denial of access to medical treatment just before I battered a CO (correctional officer) and a sexual predator in 1984 at WCC (Westville Correctional Complex), prompting an emergency transfer to ISP (Indiana State Prison)? I was 17 years old.

Shaka Shakur

Oh, but the police is talking to you!

Did they tell you upon my arrival at ISP in ‘84 I snitched about the unsanitary conditions on the IDU and allowing PC prisoners to serve us our food, just before I threw piss and toilet water in the face of unit team manager Maddox and the assistant superintendent during a mass protest? The police was changed.

Oh, but the police is doing favors for you!

Did they tell you I snitched in a mass petition to Legal Services Organization (LSO), Indiana Civil Liberties Union (ICLU), and the superintendent about white supremacist COs wearing Klan rings and spraying mace in our hygiene items, e.g. hair grease, shampoo, toothpaste and food, just before we initiated a several week mass protest and demonstration of throwing shit, piss, flooding and destroying cells, which forced direct negotiations with the superintendent at ISR (Indiana State Reformatory) in 1985?

Oh, but the police is giving you paperwork on other prisoners!

Did they tell you I snitched to LSO and ICLU about them chaining us to beds and bars for hours and days at a time? Also, for chaining us together in trip gear three and four at a time for days after we destroyed the walls, shelves, toilets and sinks of the nasty rodent infested disciplinary D/S Unit – making it a dormitory! Forcing renovations of the unit.

How about my stabbing of one of our oppressors once I was let out of that trip gear which prompted an emergency transfer to Westville psych unit for an evaluation where they falsified my medical file in an attempt to turn me into a vegetable.

They didn’t tell you, huh? Well, they probably didn’t tell you that this whole incident further cost the state tens of thousands dollars in an out of court settlement for being in contempt of Bradberry vs. Finn, thus benefitting over 30 to 40 prisoners. It also allowed me to be placed in general population and 31 years D/S time erased and lost credit time restored. ISR ’87-‘88. A good snitch!

Oh, but the police is reporting to you about inmates’ personal mail and phone calls? Pause: Again, they say I’m a snitch, but what does that make you?

OK, well, maybe they told you about when I drew up a list of demands and a petition with other comrades when Indiana’s first Supermax MCC (Maximum Control Complex) opened in ‘91. Yeah, I sent it out to political organizations, lawyers, newspapers and activists about us prisoners being beaten by COs, about us being kept in freezing refrigerated cells with hardly any clothes and being denied access to the courts and law library materials. Well, OK, how about my snitching about denial of due process for even being placed in such a facility without a classification hearing?

Oh, but the police is reporting to you about inmates’ personal mail and phone calls? Pause: Again, they say I’m a snitch, but what does that make you?

You mean to tell me that they didn’t tell you about the press conferences that our supporters were holding for us out in front of the prison or on the local courthouse steps? Well, what about the 37-day mass hunger strike we initiated on the anniversary of the Attica prison rebellion which at the time was the longest prisoner hunger strike in U.S. history? How about the mass march and protest in front of the prison and local area forcing them to call out the state police, E Street squad with shotguns surrounding the prison? Ultimately forcing the state to seek a federal court order to force feed five of the hunger strikers.

Still no? Didn’t hear about this?

Well, how about my snitching to the ICLU, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (HRW), not only prompting a forced settlement of the class action lawsuit (Taifa vs. Bayh) but making MCC the first state prison in history of the U.S. to ever be condemned by an international human rights organization for violation of human rights.

So, they didn’t tell you, huh? Not even that this forced major changes and prohibited the state from moving prisoners there on a temporary status without proper due process and meeting certain established criteria. MCC 1991-1994.

How many other prisoners you say you have assaulted and stabbed since you been locked up?

Oh, wait, I forgot. During and after our hunger strike, it prompted a peaceful solidarity march out at rec at Pendleton prison of over 350 prisoners of all ethnic backgrounds and affiliations, calling for changes at MCC in support of us? This prompted a nine-month lockdown and mass transfers.

In further protest and support, prisoners at ISP marched en masse into the kitchen, grabbed their trays in silence, and dumped them in the trash while calling for changes at MCC. This prompted another mass lockdown. A lockdown that forced the IDOC to bus in scab labor – other inmates to work in the prison slave factories such as the tag shop.

How many prisoners have you assaulted that the police told you were a snitch or sex offender? Hmmm. OK, how often do you allow the police to talk to you about other inmates?

Well, let me tell you when I turned snitching into an art form. After our hunger strike, I co-founded with outside comrades the Committee for Freedom (CFF) and we began to publish a revolutionary magazine or newsletter called Human Rights Held Hostage (HRHH).

HRHH would be a collection of Indiana political prisoners’ and socially conscious prisoners’ essays, poems and artwork that came out monthly. Ultimately, distribution would reach into 38 states and Canada, funded completely by donations and prisoner subscriptions.

Well, let me tell you when I turned snitching into an art form. After our hunger strike, I co-founded with outside comrades the Committee for Freedom (CFF) and we began to publish a revolutionary magazine or newsletter called Human Rights Held Hostage (HRHH).

Ah, man, you would have hated this! We snitched about everything you’re in favor of. You know, we snitched about police brutality, racism, contaminated water, discriminatory policies and constitutional violations. It was so bad it caused the IDOC to lockdown the state and shakedown for back issues! Denied further entry until the attorney general informed the commission it violated the First Amendment.

OK, inmate collaborator, I’m starting to understand you now.

Ah, man, you would have hated this! We snitched about everything you’re in favor of. You know, we snitched about police brutality, racism, contaminated water, discriminatory policies and constitutional violations.

OK, this is the last thing cuz I know that they didn’t tell you in ‘96 at ISP we initiated a campaign to educate the prison population about the death penalty, death row and the discriminatory application of it. In fact, we shut the entire state down in spring of 1996 in protest of the scheduled murder and execution of comrade Ziyon Yisareal aka Tommie Smith.

What they didn’t tell you was that at ISP, D-cell house staged a silent march and protest in the kitchen refusing to eat or talk. And they certainly didn’t tell you about how the flyers and pamphlets critiquing the legitimacy of the death penalty and calling for unity suddenly appeared in people’s cells across the prisons?

The state was forced to not only delay the murder but to go to federal court to get a court order to transfer 15 of us back to MCC on temporary status while alleging that they uncovered a conspiracy to take over the entire prison and burn down the death chamber with the outside support of the Black Panther militia. This would give rise to a bogus case that came to be known as the Indiana Six.

Yep, I snitched about this too. I snitched to local radio and newspapers. Gave interviews to human rights organizations and activist lawyers. I along with other comrades even gave snitchin’ autobios and profiles, giving rise to the booklet, “Who Is the Indiana Six”?

So that means you don’t know about the CO who was murdered in C-CH in 1994 two weeks after the state murdered comrade Ahamu Nassor aka Gregory Resnover who was Ziyon’s co-defendant? A murder for which they railroaded Khalfani Khaldun and gave him 65 years.

Yep, I snitched about this too. I snitched to local radio and newspapers. Gave interviews to human rights organizations and activist lawyers. I along with other comrades even gave snitchin’ autobios and profiles, giving rise to the booklet, “Who Is the Indiana Six”?

Well, I should tell you that this caused such an uproar with so much outside scrutiny that the state chose to get rid of me. With growing demands from lawyers, activists and Thomas Barnes, the former mayor of Gary, calling for my release and return of lost good time.

I was given back two years good time and kicked out of prison on my original release date. I had been in prison since I was 16 years old and had served 15 years of a 30-year sentence for attempted armed robbery.

Let me tell you before they do. When I was released, I became a super snitch. Yeah, I even began to go into churches, community centers and community organizations, organizing other snitches.

I would eventually plug into the college lecture circuit and would put on workshops and presentations at Princeton University, Purdue University, University of Madison and Beloit University at the request of Professor Catherine Orr. Also, for the Criminal Justice Department at Temple University at the request of Professor M. Kay Harris.

Let me tell you before they do. When I was released, I became a super snitch. Yeah, I even began to go into churches, community centers and community organizations, organizing other snitches.

I was invited to speak on (I mean snitch on) various panels at the 2001 Rad Fest in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and at Courtland University in New York on political prisoners in the winter of 2001. Yep, I traveled all over the country, snitching on the Department of Corrections, your prison guard friends and the kkkriminal injustice system.

To make matters worse, I was often being paid to speak. My airfare, traveling expenses and hotel fee was often paid for and I would be given a stipend of $1,500 to $2,500 for my work. Sure beat selling dope, huh?

So yeah, bruh, I’ve been a snitch against oppression, against fascists and racists who hide behind state institutions and uniforms to commit their kkkrimes, who use and abuse their little bit of power and authority to destroy lives and minds, who think it is normal behavior and a job, when in fact it is actually abnormal, sick behavior. You cannot torture, oppress and destroy without destroying a part of yourself.

So yeah, bruh, I’ve been a snitch against oppression, against fascists and racists who hide behind state institutions and uniforms to commit their kkkrimes, who use and abuse their little bit of power and authority to destroy lives and minds, who think it is normal behavior and a job, when in fact it is actually abnormal, sick behavior.

Let’s talk about you now and your friends … your puppet masters.

Question: Why do they trust you so much? Oh, you have a job? What you work for them, a prison job! OK, OK, I understand now.

They use you to cause distrust and disruption amongst prisoners. OK, your job is to prevent the development of any kind of organized political movement or resistance to improve our quality of life.

Ahhh, you’re the type that just focuses on exploiting other prisoners, spends most of your time either getting high or getting someone else high. OK, you use gangbanging and keeping a lot of tribalism – you know, city against city – or a lot of racism in an attempt to undermine any type of progressive agenda. If it was the opposite, they would hate you like they hate me, but know that they love your kind. The kind that loves to conform.

I know your type. You never use your limited influence, power or misleadership to organize against the state. You know, you’re the kind that look the part. You got all the penitentiary swag, the muscles, the tattoos, the hard scowl, too hard to return a greeting when someone speaks to you, ready to fight or kill at a moment’s notice – yeah, everybody except the state that has its foot knee deep in your ass or on your neck.

Now, I got it. You’re the busy body gossip type that be in everyone’s business. Yeah, the kind that be on the range for hours at a time, talking about he-said-she-said you heard or the police told you. Yeah, the kind that gossip about open homicide cases, about who stabbed or robbed who regardless of who might be around.

Hmmm. Yeah, I see why the police and administration is your friend. No disrespect. I understand why they trust you, why they like you, why they employ you, why they do favors for you, and why they hate me and attack me. In the end, I think I’d rather be hated by them – so yeah, call me a snitch, but what does that make you?!

Oh, I know. You’re the kind that never gangbang for better food, better medical treatment, better programs or educational opportunities. Yeah, you’re the type that has given up, who don’t learn the law or work on your case; instead you want someone else to do it for you. The kind that’s just trying to cope and not fight unless it’s fighting for the wrong reasons.

Hmmm. Yeah, I see why the police and administration is your friend. No disrespect. I understand why they trust you, why they like you, why they employ you, why they do favors for you, and why they hate me and attack me. In the end, I think I’d rather be hated by them – so yeah, call me a snitch, but what does that make you?!

Wait, aren’t you also one of those making videos for the IDOC promoting bullshit programs that do nothing for prisoners’ benefit, but make the state look good? Hold up. You’re making inmate infomercials legitimizing bullshit classes so you can be released from the SHU (Secure Housing Unit), but I’m a snitch?

Wait. Wait. Didn’t I see you on MSNBC’s Lockup or was it the Discovery channel’s bullshit documentaries that never criticize state violence or state corruption. I’m just saying … if the shoe fits.

Now let’s talk about some of your friends. I know the police, counselors, case managers and administrators of whom you speak. Yeah, those ones who always express nostalgia for the good ol’ days, when they could call us niggers to our faces instead of behind our backs.

Yeah, those ones who hate having to be “politically correct,” who love Donald Trump and make all the excuses in the world for his racist, sexist, misogynist, xenophobic hatred. Yeah, the ones who miss being able to beat the shit out of you while you’re handcuffed behind your back – it still goes on.

Ah, you know, the ones who like to get you off camera and stomp your head with combat boots while others kick you in the ribs. And don’t forget the good ol’ days when they could hang strange black fruit and call it suicide without it being questioned.

Wait. Wait. Didn’t I see you on MSNBC’s Lockup or was it the Discovery channel’s bullshit documentaries that never criticize state violence or state corruption. I’m just saying … if the shoe fits.

Yeah, I know your friends, my bad, I mean the correctional officers, prison guards, police who whisper in your ear about other prisoners who be political activists or jailhouse lawyers always filing complaints, about that no good uppity Black who doesn’t know his place or where he is at. Or maybe about that white convict who allies with us and with justice and doesn’t know his place. Yeah, they hate them nigger lovers the most!

You see, I’ve been dealing with them kind of police all of my life. You know, the ones who plant evidence, who murder us and claim fear for their lives. You know, the ones who shoot us in the back and plant a weapon or stage the kkkrime scene and still get off even if it’s on video. Oh, but they call me/us kriminals. Oh. my bad, you were talking about CO friends of yours.

Yeah, like the CO who gave a white supremacist a knife to stab and kill 18-year-old Tony Pryttle while handcuffed behind his back and being escorted from a disciplinary hearing in 1983 at Pendleton prison. Or the ones who after the riot – or rebellion – on Feb. 1, 1985, were stabbed for beating comrades.

In the case of Indiana vs. Cole and C. Trotter, CO Richardson gave a deposition confessing that he and others belonged to a white supremacist organization called the Sons of Light. A group solely amongst C.O.s, including administrators who have since risen from the ranks to wardens and central office administrators and policy makers. A group that specifically targeted Black prisoners and white convicts that were allied with us.

Ah, my bad. Maybe you were talking about the COs who used to chain us to beds, bars and polls for hours and days at a time in stress positions as if we were in Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo Bay classified as “enemy combatants” – now my mistake – just niggers to them.

No, maybe you’re talking about the CO police at the Indiana State Farm (ISF) in Putnomville, Indiana, who was the target of a state police and federal investigation and subsequent cover up in ’96-‘97. Yep, your good ol’ boy friends were at it again. Actively supporting white supremacist inmates, using prison factories to mass produce racist symbols and swastikas (rings, necklaces etc.).

Yeah, they were the crème de la crème. They didn’t just target Black prisoners but also Black staff members and specifically the first Black major assigned to that facility. Maj. Dunlap I think was his name. They targeted, threatened, hated and tried to racially intimidate until a female CO blew the whistle and the IDOC Commissioner Ed Cohn tried to cover it up. Google it.

What? Oh, your info is credible because the police feed it to you directly? Are these the same COs who in the ‘90s were on the SHU brutalizing prisoners? The ones stuffing socks and face towels down people’s throats and calling it suicide?

Same ones who were pissing in our pails of coffee at breakfast and laughing so inmates would quit asking them to pass it out? Are these the same police who on Dr. King Day would say racist shit over the PA system about Blacks needing to go back to Africa?

They didn’t just target Black prisoners but also Black staff members and specifically the first Black major assigned to that facility. Maj. Dunlap I think was his name. They targeted, threatened, hated and tried to racially intimidate until a female CO blew the whistle and the IDOC Commissioner Ed Cohn tried to cover it up. Google it.

Oh, you’re not talking about them? Well, what about those who were fired and indicted for beating prisoners and civil rights violations after a female CO wore a wire and exposed the abuse? Not them?

Well, maybe you’re talking about CO Keller and his crew who back in 2012-2013 went on a rampage of beating inmates, causing one CO to die from a heart attack during his zealous participation. An event that couldn’t be covered up and forced the IDOC to fire and file slap on the wrist charges against some of those involved.

Maybe you’re talking about the new female counselor and case manager who with her husband Luke has all kinds of racist rants against the Black Panther Party and Black Lives Matter on their Facebook and social media accounts? Bingo, huh?

Yeah, we had someone look it up, screenshoot it, download it. You see, we know this is the same counselor who has gone into inmates’ personal records and files and released info to other inmates and rivals. The same counselor who has manipulated some inmates against others by labeling inmates as snitches. A DOC snitch for gang members and racist groups.

Question: How can you be a counselor whose job is to review, evaluate and assist all prisoners and yet have all kinds of racist rants online against certain groups? Groups to which some inmates have been classified or identified as belonging. How is this person capable of being impartial and treating us fairly?

It’s funny to me how these social parasites working on modern day slave plantations, who are feeding on this social garbage dump of society, think they’re so much better than us when, in fact, they have sold their souls and humanity for a paycheck. A wage slave.

How many of your friends do you see standing up for us when the abuses occur during an extraction – especially of some mentally ill inmate? Instead they boast and brag about it.

It’s funny to me how these social parasites working on modern day slave plantations, who are feeding on this social garbage dump of society, think they’re so much better than us when, in fact, they have sold their souls and humanity for a paycheck. A wage slave.

How many do you see blowing the whistle on incompetent doctors or nurses who give us the wrong insulin, allow us to die from curable or preventable diseases? How many do you see step in to help some mentally ill inmate who has lost his way as opposed to them further brutalizing him emotionally or physically?

Who will spray us with an entire canister of mace or gas and laugh and brag about it when they weren’t in any danger? Oh, I forgot: Even though I was locked in a cage, they feared for their lives and had to tear gas me with an entire can. Imagine that!

How many do you see still in touch with their humanity and actually give a fuck about us and actually push for real programs and educational opportunities, who try to treat us like men? Who don’t have the us vs. them mentality? They’re a very small minority. While they don’t like to be judged or stereotyped, they judge and stereotype us.

When a paycheck dictates your morals, values and humanity and you become a whore for the state, a willing murderer for the state, then you’re just a pawn in a larger game of oppression and exploitation. What you hate in me you actually hate in yourself.

When a paycheck dictates your morals, values and humanity and you become a whore for the state, a willing murderer for the state, then you’re just a pawn in a larger game of oppression and exploitation. What you hate in me you actually hate in yourself.

So tell your little neo-fascist friends – who have no life outside of what revolves around these prison plantations – that they’re right. As long as we have sick individuals who have lost touch with their own sense of humanity, who play with and destroy our lives, who refuse to see us as human beings deserving of respect, I’m going to keep on so-called snitching! Now, go tell, gossip, chat about that!

Moving Straight Ahead!

Shaka Shakur

Send our brother some love and light: Shaka Shakur, 135647, WVCF, P.O. Box 1111, Carlisle IN 47838.

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