Filed under: Action, Central, Incarceration, Repression
Call for a phone-zap and email campaign to support prison rebel Jason Renard Walker in Texas.
Jason Renard Walker, a Texas inmate associated with the 2016 prison strike and who contributed to the Fire Inside zine, has been subject to an increasingly intense campaign of harassment from staff at the Telford Unit, who first issued him with a bogus case for threatening a member of staff, and then sent him to lockup, preventing him from even being able to attend his own hearing for the trumped-up case. Public support and pressure is urgently needed to defend Jason from this retaliation. Below are contact details for relevant TDCJ officials, a short script for phone calls and a longer one for emails, along with a report from Jason describing one of the recent incidents. A witness statement from another inmate is available here.
You can contact the TDCJ Ombudsman at [email protected], as well as the Telford Unit’s management at 903-628-3171 and [email protected]. You can speak to the Regional Director’s office at (903) 928-2623, [email protected] and [email protected]. Contact details for TDCJ head office are (936) 295-6371, [email protected] and [email protected]
Script for phone calls:
“Hello, I am contacting you as I have been made aware of a pattern of bogus disciplinary cases being issued by CO Renitia T. Davis. In particular, I wish to request that you bring in an appropriate outside investigator to fully investigate the recent cases issued to inmates Jason Renard Walker #1532092 and Logan Newsome #2163761 with an eye to getting these fraudulent cases overturned and expunged immediately, as well as conducting a full investigation into Officer Davis’ history.
Beyond this, I demand that you cease all forms of harassment and retaliation against Jason Walker, including but not limited to the issuing of bogus cases, the censorship of his correspondence, and the denial of access to heat respite. Please investigate and overturn all recent cases and disciplinary measures issued to Mr. Walker by Telford Unit staff, and investigate the conduct of Lieutenant Estrada, Sergeant Gilstrap, Sergeant Sartin, and Lieutenant Ricks, who have all played a role in the campaign of harassment.
Longer script for emails and Ombudsman complaints:
“To TDCJ Ombudsman,
I am writing to complain about the conduct of a laundry officer named Renitia T. Davis, along with a Sergeant Sartin, at the Telford Unit. Ms. Davis falsely charged Jason Walker (#1532092) with threatening to kill her when he went to pick up his laundry from her (Ref: Disciplinary case #20180337108). Furthermore, on September 5th. Sergeant Sartin threatened violence against Mr. Walker and then sent him to the lockup, preventing him from being able to attend his own hearing on the previous charge.
Mr. Walker reports that the whole exchange between him and Davis is on video, which will show that he made no such threat.
Here is Jason Walker’s account of what was said:
“She told one of her laundry workers to ‘give him [Mr. Walker] some panties.’ To wit, I was given a very small pair of boxers with a long cut slit in the seat part. After I complained, Davis told me that since lockdown [was] coming up, I need something sexy to wear for my cellie, since we’d be in the cell 24 hours a day for thirty days. […]
“I told her I would write grievance on the matter and she said she was going to put me on clothes restriction for a week, [and] lie and say that I verbally refused for that week, so as to justify [my] not receiving any clean clothes. She made a note of this act on her laundry list so she’d remember when I show up.”
Mr. Walker describes this conduct as “falsifying state documents, cruel and unusual punishment, extortion, and sexual harassment.”
Apparently, Mr. Walker is not the only prisoner whom Ms. Davis has charged with threatening her, and similar charges have been issued to Logan Newsome #2163761, among others. Charging prisoners like this is a way of exercising power over them; it obviously damages their records in relation to any consideration for parole. I find it hard to imagine why any prisoner who is not insane would threaten a guard’s life. Mr. Walker is a serious writer and reporter, and he cares about his fellow prisoners. He is neither insane nor stupid. Whatever the provocations made by Ms. Davis, he has more sense than to respond with a physical threat.
I call on you to check out the video and make sure that any negative report on Mr. Walker is nullified.
As for Ms. Davis, her provocations and false charges are totally unacceptable. I am aware, however, that such conduct is common among guards, and is mutually reinforcing. This is a matter that raises more far-reaching questions about how the concept of “corrections” is understood. As it is, the officers are themselves giving examples of criminal conduct.
Furthermore, on Sept. 5, he was stopped on his way to a meal and was directly threatened by Sgt. Sartin for his public statements. He quotes Sgt. Sartin as having said, “You keep talking I’ma show you.” The sergeant then threatened to hit Mr. Walker. When Mr. Walker said that he would file a grievance, Sgt. Sartin said, “No you not; you going to lockup,” and (laughing) “Looks like you ain’t gonna make it to your hearing.”
Once locked up, Mr. Walker feared that his belongings would be taken from him.
He has also been kept, despite his protests, in a stiflingly hot cell, which puts him at risk of heat stroke. In addition, he was left without a mattress or a cup or a spoon.
Blocking Mr. Walker from attending his hearing is a violation of his right to due process. The additional abusive treatment is a general violation of his dignity.
Beyond this, I am aware that these incidents take place in the context of a wider campaign of harassment and retaliation against Jason Walker, including but not limited to the issuing of bogus cases, the censorship of his correspondence, and the denial of access to heat respite. Please investigate and overturn all recent cases issued to Mr. Walker by Telford Unit staff, and investigate the conduct of Lieutenant Estrada, Sergeant Gilstrap, and Lieutenant Ricks, who have all played a role in the campaign of harassment.”
Terrible Telford Unit: Please help stop the writing of bogus disciplinary cases and faulty counsel substitute representation
by Jason Renard Walker
I’m requesting an immediate call to action in regards to one of the most sinister CO’s I’ve met during my ten years of incarceration.
Renitia T. Davis, a CO laundry officer here at the Telford Unit, needs to be exposed and fired now! She poses a security risk to both prisoners and staff. After a brief investigation, I learned that it is well-known among most staff and all prisoners that, under the slightest pretext, she will file bogus “04.0” disciplinary cases on black prisoners, which are “threatening to inflict harm, physical or otherwise on an officer or any person who is not an offender.”
This particular case always results in the victim being locked up immediately in pre-hearing detention (PHD), separated and suppressed from collecting witness statements, evidence, and ultimately found guilty on her word alone. Punishment ranges from solitary confinement, close custody (2 man solitary), loss of parole eligibility and good time, to being put in harsher prison conditions or all of the above.
The duration of stays in close custody (the normal punishment) is at least a year, with an additional six months being served in medium custody before a return to general population (that’s if you stay case-free).
Davis’ acts, and her ability to escape punishment, are enabled by staff looking the other way, and prisoners fearing subsequent punishment for exposing her. I heard she has over twenty years of TDCJ experience. Internal documents will show that a big percentage of the cases she’s filed throughout her career consist of claims that prisoners threatened to harm her. I’m one of her latest victims, here’s how it went down.
On August 23, 2018, around 6:20 am, I went to the 4 Building laundry room to exchange clothes. In a hostile tone, Davis told me to take the knots out of my sheets, read the “No Knots” sign, and stand to the side so others could exchange items. I did as told, turned in my clothes and sheets, then received new ones. “Give him some panties so he can look good for his cellie”, she slurred. I told her to learn how to do her job, then walked away. I was told if I kept talking I’d be put on clothes restriction for a week, under the guise that I verbally refused each day. I told her I didn’t care, went to the front desk, grabbed grievance forms to report her, then went back to my cell. She’d made the panties comment once before, on Aug 20 2018.
Prisoner Collier in Cell 4D, 12-B, was next in line and agreed to be a witness. Around 11:23 am, Officer Phillips, another witness, called me to the front desk, wrote me a pass, and told me to go to the main laundry room by A-turnout. Namely, the same secluded location where I was taken, handcuffed by Sgt Gilstrap, to be threatened by Lt Estrada on July 14 2018, simply because I wouldn’t agree to stop filing complaints. Gilstrap even mentioned that he’d write me up and say I threatened to kill female officers if I didn’t stop. This is a documented event! Such bogus cases seem to be utilized broadly as a “sure shot” retaliation mechanism.
I was met at the main laundry room by laundry officer Timothy L. Evans. The reason for my presence, he said, was because his coworker “Davis” wrote me a 04.0 disciplinary case for threatening to “kill her”.
The I-210 report stated that I walked up to the laundry room window, and, for no reason at all, demanded clothes, and said if I didn’t get them “I will come up there and whip your black ass, bitch.” The lengthy report is devoid of logic or reason, but builds momentum as it states that when I see Davis on the sidewalk I will kill (or harm) her; and basically prioritize spending my days manipulating security to get ahold of her. The wording was obviously designed to get me locked up and punished for moving to get grievances to write her up.
In contradiction to her bogus assertions, not only was I not locked up in violation of security protocol; she didn’t request assistance, notify her supervisor or the desk officer, she never secured the laundry room door, and I was sent to the main laundry room, where she was at, to be served the case.
This would actually have increased the likelihood of danger to the reporting officer if it was true. And further shows that the motive was retaliation, not that she feared for her life. The camera will show that I turned in clothes, received clean ones, then walked to the desk to pick up grievances.
On August 24, 2018, around 7:00AM, I was called to the front desk. Davis saw me, a confused look crossed her face, and she stated “what the fuck, they didn’t lock [you] up, oh well you ain’t gotta worry about parole, I’ve been doing this for years, ha ha ha!” Several hours later, I was sent to 1 Building to speak with C. Tisdale PS III (Public Defender equivalent), who’s supposed to be my hearing rep.
Tisdale refused to accept my documented evidence, so I’m attaching the witness statement to this report. She refused to seek witnesses, and said if I couldn’t get their names, numbers, and cell locations I couldn’t used them as evidence. I explained that the laundry workers were witnesses who lived in other parts of the prison, and that they are on the shift roster and can be found. She ignored this, said it was impractical, and recommended that I go to the laundry room myself on Monday morning, and have Davis give me their names and numbers, then place the info in the mailbox. She said it wasn’t her duty to do this.
These are signs of an administrative railroad job; every measure she told me to take is insensible to logic, and runs afoul of the counsel subsitute’s investigative duties. This clearly infringes my due process rights. Wasn’t Davis supposedly meant to be in fear of her life? So why am I advised to ask her for evidence?
By coincidence, prisoner Logan Newsome #2163761 was written up by Davis this same week, for mainly the same reason. Newsome says he’s innocent. Prisoner Eddie Clinton #1298197 contests that he was one of her victims in the past. His case was dismissed, but he sadly stated that a multitude of others weren’t as fortunate. “That’s what she do”, he said. “She’s got a whole buncha people rolled, a lot of ’em woulda been at home already” said Carl Lee Anderson #417240, who I present as a credible witness to my victimization (see enclosed witness statement).
Please file complaints to the Ombudsman and the warden’s office. Demand that the disciplinary cases of mine and Newsome be overturned and expunged if guilty verdicts are reached. As we;; as a thorough investigation into Renitia T. Davis, LSM III, and her malicious acts of falsifying documents and retaliation that have gone unhinged.
Jason Renard Walker #1532092
3899 Hwy 98
New Boston, TX 75570
Ref: Disciplinary case #20180337108
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