Urgent call to action: Rashid says, ‘They are trying to kill me’

“Protect Our Leaders” – Art: Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, 264847, Pendleton Correctional Facility, G-20-2C, 4490 W. Reformatory Road, Pendleton, IN 46064. Rashid isn’t referring here to himself, but he amply deserves an honored place in the Black leadership pantheon.

by Shupavu wa Kirima 

I just got off of the phone with Rashid and he still has not received his property or the remainder of his life-sustaining medication. He hasn’t had all of his medication since the incident where he was forced to defend himself that occurred on Aug. 25, 2020. This alone is enough, but what has me the most concerned is that he stated there are other recent developments in his current situation that he did not feel comfortable sharing with me over the phone as the calls are heavily monitored and recorded. 

He did state emphatically that at this point IDOC and the staff at Pendleton Correctional Facility are actively trying to kill him. These were his exact words. I am fearful for the safety of my comrade and partner and am asking everyone to please call and email! The prison and corrections staff must know that we are watching and there will be a serious consequence to pay should anything happen to Kevin Rashid Johnson while in their custody and care. 

. . .refusal of basic human and legal rights by IDOC authorities represents a racist and abusive pattern of targeting Rashid for his political beliefs . . .

Officers A. Long and R. Cochran have been central figures in the continued racist attacks against Rashid and the racially motivated STG label that was attached to him and his political party. We are asking that calls and emails be made to everyone, but correspondence to Dennis Reagle, the warden, and Joseph Walters, the interstate compact administrator for the Virginia Department of Corrections, should increase. I am including their contact information below. 

Rashid has been in prison far too long. We need his voice here, where he can be heard. Free Rashid!

If you have media contacts or resources that can assist us in this fight, then I ask that you please contact me. Day or night. I don’t care about the time. We must protect and fiercely defend our political prisoners. 

Script for your calls and emails

Here is the script that lists the demands. We are asking that folks call and email on Rashid’s behalf:

“Hi, my name is ___ and I am calling to voice concern over the unjust treatment of Kevin Rashid Johnson. It has come to my attention that Rashid has been refused his property following a premeditated attack that we believe may involve members of your staff. 

“We are demanding that the property be returned to him immediately and that it include his medication, correspondence, writing effects and legal materials specifically. We are especially concerned about your refusal to give him the remainder of his K.O.P. meds, Lozartin and Hydrochlorothiazide. These are life sustaining medications and need to be administered every day. As it stands now, he has been without them since Aug. 25, 2020. 

Denying him these things is a violation of his medical, legal and human rights and impedes his ability to look after his health and defend himself from these most recent, bogus charges. I understand this type of behavior and refusal of basic human and legal rights by IDOC authorities represents a racist and abusive pattern of targeting Rashid for his political beliefs and for his publicizing the conditions at Pendleton amid the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to other racist and oppressive conditions. We understand your officers, A. Long and R. Cochran, have been key figures in this continued racist and abusive practice.

We demand ALL of his property be returned to him immediately. We also demand that this rumor of an impending transfer out of Pendleton Correctional Facility being used as a pretense for withholding his property from him either take place immediately or cease. Finally, we demand he be allowed to communicate with his attorney and any other legal counsel that he deems appropriate and that he be allowed to add his attorney’s phone number to his phone contact list immediately.

I want you to know that Rashid has the full support of many friends both here and abroad. The entire world is watching your actions there at Pendleton Correctional Facility. We hope that you will do the right thing. Thank you for your time. Goodbye.

Call or write the following officials to save Rashid’s life 

Also, while the immediate need is for calls and emails, please also send our brother Rashid some love and light in this dark time – a flood of mail can be very protective: Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, 264847, Pendleton Correctional Facility, G-20-2C, 4490 W. Reformatory Road, Pendleton, IN 46064.

Dare to struggle, dare to win!

Shupavu wa Kirima can be reached at shupavu.wa.kirima@gmail.com