Rest In Power Michael Marshall – The Latest Victim of Denver Police Violence

From Revolution News:

anti-police-denver

The Denver Sheriff Department has murdered again. Michael Marshall passed away as a result of injuries sustained at the hands of Denver sheriff deputies around 6:30pm on November 20, 2015, after over a week on life support.

What does a community do in the absence of official channels to seek justice? What does a community do in the face of killers who operate with impunity—backed by the State? Killers who, to add insult to injury, pass on the monetary and emotional costs of their brutality to the very city they brutalize.

This is the challenge facing some communities in Denver, and many communities across the United States. But it’s a challenge they’ve faced before.

In 2010, Denver sheriff deputies pummeled, tasered, and beat Marvin Booker to death in the Denver jail. Why? Booker was a 50-something, Black, slender, unhoused, and beloved street preacher, who dealt with mental health challenges, and he didn’t want to give up his shoes.

Marvin Booker wasn’t a threat. He wasn’t violent. And he didn’t need to be separated from his shoes, which were one of his only possessions.

But in the milieu of discipline and punishment, control of bodies, and the breaking of human spirits, Denver sheriff deputies used such force to separate Booker from his shoes that he subsequently died.

Nobody was reprimanded. Nobody was held to account. If you spend time in Denver’s jail today you may be held under guard by some of the same people who murdered Marvin Booker.

Ultimately, it was Denver taxpayers who forked over some recompense as they had to cover the $6 million payout made to Booker’s family.

So goes the cycle of brutality, impunity, and taxpayer burden. And now it begins anew, with a strikingly similar case of brutality to the one that stole Marvin Booker’s life. Michael Marshall, a 50-year-old, Black, unhoused, slender man, who also described himself as a street preacher and dealt with mental health challenges, lost his life at the hands of Denver sheriff deputies trying to restrain him.

Why they were trying to restrain him isn’t entirely clear, but reporting from the Colorado Independent indicates that video footage shows Marshall posed no physical threat to the officers who killed him.

After over a week on life support following his beating at the hands of three deputies, Marshall passed away.

His killers remain unidentified and will likely receive little more than a paid vacation as a result of their actions. But one thing is for sure—the community of Denver will respond.

Following Booker’s killing hundreds of Denverites took to the streets in multiple protests. Marshall’s killing will likely prompt a similar response.

Indeed, concerned citizens already rallied for a press conference and a chance to mourn with family outside the jail in which Marshall was killed.

My question: Isn’t an even stronger response warranted?

At what point does Denver rise up as we’ve seen Baltimore, Ferguson, and other cities in the face of routine police violence? And who will throw the first brick, stone, or Molotov cocktail?

anti-police-denver2

Because something needs to change.

And in spite of recommendations from independent parties, and a newly appointed sheriff, the jail’s use of force policy remains the same. And now it has again led to the killing of a harmless Black man.

Michael Marshall’s killing happens at the intersections of oppression: Racism, classism, and ableism. A paranoid schizophrenic who may or may not have been able to recognize commands coming from sheriff deputies or police officers, Marshall was held on a bond of only $100 for an alleged minor offense.

If our inJustice System wasn’t racist, classist, and ableist, Michael Marshall would’ve never found himself trapped within the cold concrete halls of the Denver jail where he would be murdered.

If our inJustice System wasn’t structured around the control of bodies, using violence to instill docility, and compelling people to follow rules structured to protect elite interests through arbitrary discipline, Michael Marshall would still be alive.

If our inJustice System truly presumed the innocence of those forced through it, nobody would sit in jail over a $100 bond, and Michael Marshall would still be alive.

If our inJustice System was designed for the people who are most-often forced through it, then it would offer them services to improve their situations, not Tasers and violence, and Michael Marshall would still be alive.

It’s long past time for this to change. What will we do to make sure that happens?

Another world is possible, but it will only come if we fight for it. So, Denver, rise up. Fight for Marvin. Fight for Michael. Fight for all those who came before them, in the hope that fewer will come after.

September 9 Protest at Denver DA Mitch Morrissey’s house

From Denver Action Network:

Video of Deputy Sheriff Brady Lovinger beating Anthony Waller in court in 2012. Projected onto District Attorney Mitch Morrissey’s house 9/9/15

Video of Deputy Sheriff Brady Lovinger beating Anthony Waller in court in 2012. Projected onto District Attorney Mitch Morrissey’s house 9/9/15

Around 7:30 PM on a beautiful wednesday night in one of the richest neighborhoods in Denver, the Denver Action Network held our third home demonstration at the residence of Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrisey. We are starting a new tradition of random, unannounced home visits to officials who cover for the violent, racist gangs that make up Denver’s “law enforcement” apparatus.

“On September 11, 2012 Anthony Waller, an African American man who was brought to court in shackles, was assaulted by Deputy Sheriff Brady Lovingier in the courtroom at the downtown Denver Detention Center in an unprovoked attack as Mr. Waller was being advised of his rights. According to his attorney Kenneth Padilla, Mr. Waller suffered severe bodily injuries to his head, including a closed head injury, left orbital blowout fracture and had his teeth knocked out. Mr. Waller also reportedly sustained injuries to his back, neck, legs, arms, ankles, and suffered a hernia.
The three year statute of limitations is running out to prosecute Deputy Lovingier for this brutal assault that was caught on video and released by the press to the public. Judge Doris Burd filed a complaint with the Sheriff Department against Deputy Lovingier. However, a formal response didn’t come until late September 2013 when the City suspended Lovingier for 30 days, which he is appealing, for the kind of assault that would get a civilian arrested, convicted and incarcerated by DA Morrissey.”

(Info taken from Colorado Progressive Coalition et al., source: https://www.facebook.com/events/519825488169175)

The surveillance video of Deputy Lovingier brutally beating Mr. Waller in his 2012 court appearance can be seen here: (trigger warning) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDrIirwfzt8&

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Video of Deputy Sheriff Brady Lovinger beating Anthony Waller in court in 2012. Projected onto District Attorney Mitch Morrissey’s house 9/9/15

Our visit to Mitch Morrissey tonight was a reminder that the people of Denver are sick of these racist, fascist violent cops brutalizing and killing us, and we are just as sick of bootlicking city officials like Morrissey who actively cover for and enable this violent behavior by law enforcement. From now on, endorsing police violence will come with personal and social consequences. To Mitch Morrisey and all future District Attorneys of Denver: indict and prosecute violent cops, or we will make sure your whole neighborhood knows what a cowardly piece of shit you are. You may seek to bury and ignore the truth about police violence in Denver, but we will continue to bring the truth to your doorstep.

Chalk left in the street outside DA Mitch Morrisey’s house

Chalk left in the street outside DA Mitch Morrisey’s house

Solidarity with all people resisting state violence in Denver and around the world! Fuck the police!

Love, The Denver Action Network, 9/9/15

Marius Mason: New Poetry

From Support Marius Mason:

Untitled (The River Runs Yellow, August 2015)

The River ran Yellow in Colorado
When the river ran yellow past
The outfitter’s shack, kayaks lined up
Colorful, in Back
They could smell it coming first
Loaded with silt and clouds of poison
A heavy-hearted river full of sighs
Something rotten in the Animas
And coming downstream fast
The rainbow trout winking out like stars at dawn
And all the apocolyptic chemistry
Cascading and assailing invisibilia,
The magic microscopic lego-like pieces upon which
Everything is built
Begins a domino affect
A yellow light means caution, a warning
But Gold is King
So we careen through our intersection
With the world
Like a drunken teen in someone else’s car
Will we beat the light this time,
Or be hit by natural consequences?
Brace yourselves for impact

Untitled (August 2015)

Me, I’m Not
You , my friend, are a winner!
Ding, ding, ding
Happy happenstance in the living lottery
Genetically consistent maybe
Or just expected features
Yes, save that ticket, and no regrets
Watch local programming to see if
Circumstance graces your appropriate presentation,
and properly apportioned face
With its geranium kiss
At home in the temple of the soul
In fellowship, a member
Of the congregation at last
But me, I’m not
I’m just the beggar on the outside steps
Making everyone uncomfortable
So drop a coin in my bowl and meet my eye (I)
As you pass by
(and I do not)

Denver: Running Down The Walls 2015!


Please share the promo video: https://youtu.be/mPwWnPRuVSM

It’s time again for Denver’s annual Running Down the Walls 5k benefit. This will be our seventh run/walk in solidarity with U.S. held political prisoners and prisoners of war. Last year was the best year, and we need your help to make this year’s even bigger!

Join us Sunday September 6th at Hungarian Freedom Park (901 E 1st Ave). Meet by the Hungarian uprising memorial at 11am with the run starting at 12pm sharp, taking place at the same time as runs in other cities and in prisons across the country! Please be sure to get there early to sign in and get your t-shirt. Food will be provided afterwards. Vegan options included. Bring everyone!

Every year prisoners and ABC chapters organize Running Down the Walls events to raise awareness and funds for political prisoners in further need of support. Additionally, extra funds raised will go to support the 5th annual North American Anarchist Black Cross conference.

This year’s radical 5k is dedicated in loving memory of the revolutionary Phil Africa (died in prison 1/10/2015) and every slain, maimed, and brutalized victim of police terror.

Sign up to run, roll, walk, bike, or volunteer by emailing us at denverabc@riseup.net ♥

RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/714840768659289/

To donate please visit our youcaring fundraiser here: http://www.youcaring.com/u-s-political-prisoners-406831

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Click image to view report from last year.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
From NYC ABC:

The Warchest Program:
The Anarchist Black Cross Federation (ABCF) has initiated a program designed to send monthly checks to those Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War who have been receiving insufficient, little, or no financial support during their imprisonment. The Warchest program was initiated in November 1994. Its purpose is to collect monthly funds from groups and individual supporters, and send that money to Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War (PP/POW) via monthly checks. Over the last two decades, the ABCF warchest has dispensed over $75,000 to political prisoners in the United States. Currently, there are ten imprisoned comrades who receive a monthly stipend as part of the program; they are:
Joseph Bowen
Russell Maroon Shoatz
Alvaro Luna Hernandez
Herman Bell
Robert Seth Hayes
Maliki Shakur Latine
Ruchell Magee
Sundiata Acoli
Hanif Bey
Oso Blanco

For more information, visit: abcf.net/warchest-program

Family and Friends of Maliki Shakur Latine:
Maliki Shakur Latine is a political prisoner, held in New York state. A former Black Panther, Maliki directly faced state repression and, after a 1979 incident with NYPD cops, was sentenced to 25 to life. We are raising funds to aid in the campaign to secure parole for this elder. For more information, visit justiceformaliki.org

FOIA documents released from attempted Colorado Indymedia server seizure

From Colorado Indymedia:

Approximately two years ago, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI attempted to seize the Colorado Indymedia server because somebody posted a communique here taking responsibility for the breaking of windows at an ICE office. If you want to read more about the incident and our response, see our article at http://colorado.indymedia.org/no…

I filed Freedom of Information Requests to the Loveland Police Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and a couple other agencies to find out more about the investigation that almost took our site offline. I received a couple dozen pages of records. Because of the contents of these records, we now have conclusive proof the DHS/FBI agents that visited the organization that hosts our server (Denver Open Media) lied to them about having a warrant to seize the server. While I am not in the least bit surprised that they lied about this (and they are certainly allowed to under the law), we now know for certain that it was a lie. This serves as another reminder that you should always double-check the claims that police make.

I’ve posted the records here in case anybody else may find them useful in researching political repression in the area. Please note that you cannot use any personal information from the records of Loveland PD or other state agencies for business/solicitation purposes per C.R.S. 24-72-305.5 (see http://www.colorado.gov/dpa/doit…).

Records from CIAC (Colorado Information Analysis Center/Fusion Center)

http://colorado.indymedia.org/fi…

Records from the FBI

http://colorado.indymedia.org/fi…

Pictures of the vandalism from the Loveland PD:

http://colorado.indymedia.org/fi…

Loveland PD Records

http://colorado.indymedia.org/fi…

Department of Homeland Security records

http://colorado.indymedia.org/fi…

If anybody has any questions, they may contact me at ringo{at}hackbloc.org

Colorado: Parole officers accused of forging documents to illegally lengthen parolees jail sentences

From the Westword:

Jeffrey Wells, a Department of Corrections parole officer based in Grand Junction, is well regarded by his fellow employees, who recently named him top employee of the quarter. But he’s less venerated by John Morgan and three other parolees, who are currently suing him for allegedly forging documents in order to keep them behind bars longer than is allowed by law. And their attorney suspects the problem may not stop with him.

“From the documents we’re getting, it seems like a bigger issue,” says Siddhartha Rathod, who also represents four alleged victims in the Denver Diner police brutality case. “I can’t prove this yet, but I think through discovery we’ll be able to prove this has been going on across the board — that parole officers are routinely holding people beyond the allowable time.”

Such accusations are fairly common, Rathod concedes. “I typically get a lot of calls from inmates, but more so from mothers, wives, brothers, fathers saying, ‘My child has been unlawfully revoked on parole.’ And parolees are often on the fringes of society: They’re in custody, so they don’t have a lot of money, and some don’t have a lot of support services. They’re a group of people who, when they’re on parole, can easily be abused.”

Rathod believes that was the case with Morgan and fellow plaintiffs Dustin Cook, Paul Stark and Jerrod Thoele. And he’s got a report from the DOC’s Office of the Inspector General to back up his assertions.

Full Story

New Study: Solitary Confinement Overused in Colorado

new report on solitary confinement in Colorado’s state prisons concluded that there are far too many inmates in round-the-clock lockdown. A series of relatively modest changes in its classification, review, and mental health treatment practices would “significantly reduce” the number of prisoners in administrative segregation, the report found. The report was funded by the National Institute of Corrections, and its authors, James Austin and Emmitt Sparkman, were involved in the dramatic reduction of solitary confinement in Mississippi’s prisons.

Alan Prendergast, who has spent more than a decade reporting on Colorado prisons for Denver’s weekly Westword, reviewed the report and provided the following summary:

A study by researchers at the National Institute of Corrections has found that Colorado’s approach to locking down its most unruly prisoners in 23-hour-a-day isolation is “basically sound” — but could be used a lot less. Instead, even as the state’s prison population is declining slightly, the use of “administrative segregation,” or solitary confinement, continues to increase.

The Colorado Department of Corrections houses close to 1,500 prisoners in “ad-seg,” about 7 percent of the entire state prison population. That’s significantly above the national average of 2 percent or less — and if you factor in the additional 670 prisoners who are in “punitive segregation” as a result of disciplinary actions, the CDOC figure is closer to 10 percent. And four out of ten of the prisoners in solitary have a diagnosed mental illness, roughly double the proportion in 1999. The state’s heavy reliance on ad-seg, including building a second supermax prison to house the overload, has put Colorado in the center of a growing national controversy over whether isolating prisoners creates more problems in the long run.

NIC researchers James Austin and Emmitt Sparkman were invited by DOC to prepare an external review of its ad-seg policies and classification system. Among other points, the pair found that the decision to send prisoners to lockdown has little review by headquarters; that “there is considerable confusion in the operational memorandums and regulations on how the administrative segregation units are to function;” that the average length of stay in isolation is about two years; and that 40 percent of the ad-seg prisoners are released directly to the community from lockdown, with no time spent in general population first.

Austin and Sparkman urge the DOC to require a mental health review before a prisoner is placed in ad-seg and to simplify the programs and phases inmates are required to complete before returning to a less restrictive prison. Even modest administrative changes would “significantly reduce” the state’s lockdown population, they claim, freeing up cells for other uses and saving the state money, since supermax prisons are more costly to operate than lower-security facilities.

For more on solitary confinement in Colorado, read our article Fortresses of Solitude.