«When was the last time we spoke? Without an extra pair of ears?»
Eric King, a political prisoner who was taken into a closet and attacked off-camera in August of 2018 at the Federal Correctional Institution in Florence, Colorado, was found not guilty on Friday.
Eric King: «When was the last time we spoke? Without an extra pair of ears?»
Good newsis not exactly what the ahuehuete is known for. And yet, this Friday was finally the exception.
Eric King, a political prisoner who was taken into a supply closet and attacked off-camera in August of 2018 at the Federal Correctional Institution in Florence, Colorado, was found not guilty.
You dropped this, king
Eric G. King has been describedas a vegan anarchist political prisoner. He was arrested and charged in September 2014 for throwing a hammer through the window of an empty federal building, followed by two Molotov cocktails. The State claims that both devices failed to ignite. The official charge, the “use of explosive materials to commit arson of property used in or affecting interstate commerce
Nevertheless, he was identified as a suspect by local police due to their claim that he had previously been involved in anti-government and anti-police graffiti (no graffiti charges were ever filed against King). In response, he declared:
«I stand by my actions. After seeing what happened in Ferguson, so close down the road, I was disgusted by the lack of mobilization in my city.
Three hours away, people were fighting for their lives; and we weren’t even taking to the streets. We were doing nothing. My act was a very personal display of my anger and rage toward the State, as well as an act of solidarity to everyone in Ferguson.
We never know our own strength until we are tested. And even with my ridiculous sentence, I feel at least proud to have been able to stand strong, and refuse to cooperate with the State.»
Jude Ortiz, a member of Eric King’s support campaign, was allowed to briefly address the court, as reported by UnicornRiot. In Jude’s words:
«[…] the assumption that these actions, that Eric has admitted to, are illegal, immoral, wrong […] indeed, according to your laws, they are wrong.
And according to your laws, the daily violence of the police, of corporations, of this so-called criminal “justice” system is legal, moral, right.
According to your laws the US government can bomb people around the world, starve people around the world and domestically, deny people clean drinking water in their homes, steal their homes to build pipelines, lock them up for being poor and/or people of color, deny them clean drinking water and adequate food while locked up, and on and on and on.»
Eric was sentenced to ten years, the statutory minimum and maximum for this crime category. His release date was set to June 2nd, 2023.
Pointing at the clear dissonance between his ten-year sentence for property destruction to the impunity faced by the murderers of Freddie Gray and Trayvon Martin, King repeatedly «referred to the United States government and the court which was sentencing him as “disgusting“, complicit in “oppressive treatment of the poor and persons of color” and said “all of you are a part of it” – a comment clearly directed towards the judge, prosecutors, and federal marshals.»
Since his arrest, and subsequent incarceration, the State apparatus opted for a particular type of torture: solitary confinement. The practice is considered to be a form of psychological torture, with measurable long-term physiological effects when the period of confinement is longer than a few weeks, or is continued indefinitely.
Eric has repeatedly been targeted by the guards at a high degree of brutality.
As his website describes,
«At CCA Leavenworth, where Eric was held in pre-trial detention, he was kept in segregation for 6 months.
He was often subjected to stints in “the hole”, after the guards targeted him.
Despite these struggles, he continues to maintain his good spirits and resolve to see the situation. He has also maintained his dedication to the struggle for a world free of domination and oppression.»
Contiguous, the court and the press have continuously attempted to portray Eric as person suffering mental disorders. The original judge reprimanded those testifying on King’s behalf multiple times of political grandstanding.
A statementon June 28th, 2016 expressed:
«Prior to imposing the sentence and conditions of release, Judge Fenner felt it necessary to announce, into the court record, that Eric is “obviously a sick, deranged and dangerous person” with a “history of mental illness.”
While there is always room for learning and growth every time a comrade is imprisoned, we refuse the narrative – that Eric’s actions can be summed up as those.
We want to strongly counter this assertion […] and remind those who hold power that resistance […] against systems and structures of oppression is not a sign of mental illness, nor delusion.
In fact, in many cases, these acts of resistance – large or small – are the most sound reaction one could take when faced with the daily horrors […] imposed on us all.»
King was ordered by Lieutenant Donald Wilcox to attend a private "interview" in a prison storage locker on August 17th, 2018, accordingto a statement written by King himself.
Lt. Wilcox, a member of the Special Investigative Services (SIS) unit, operates for the nationwide department that monitors individuals deemed threats within the system. In the words of Eric:
«On Aug 17th (the day after my wife’s cancer was removed via surgery) after reviewing an email I sent, Lt Wilcox called me into his office.
On my arrival the new SIS (Special Investigative Services) creep took me back to a mop closet. Wilcox is about 2 inches taller 30-40 lbs heavier. He is known for screaming and tough-guying, making sure no one forgets what a bad ass he is.
Upon entering the mop closet he immediately begins baiting me to fight him, telling me if I hate cops so bad I should prove it by getting him.
It should be noted at this point I was one week away from finally transferring to a low security prison, which I had worked towards for a year of excellent work and disciplinary record. Was called a “model prisoner” (lol) in my team meetings. This was all I wanted and I was doing everything in my power to get there. But Wilcox had different ideas.
I laughed in his face, not taking some bullshit bait. Then he ordered the SIS officer out of the office for privacy and to “take care of some shit”.
He faced up to me and began yelling about terrorists and how bad he hates them.»
Four other guards dragged King into the hallway, assaultedhim, and tormented him for about eight hours. Since this incident, “he has experienced tingling in his extremities, headaches, blurred vision and nausea on a daily basis," his legal defense stated.
We have omitted the triggering details of this interview session with the law enforcement enactors, but they are listed under this footnote. We opted to leave out the visual documentation of this torturous operation after exposure to it, out of principle, but the reader can access the evidence if needed elsewhere.
Despite Friday’s victory, the obstacles Eric continues to face are immense. The State apparatus continues to subject him to cruel, agonizing conditions particularly reserved for political prisoners. Eric King has been held in solitary for more than three years.
In solidarity with Eric, his family; the courageous live-reporting by Unicorn Riot, and other independent media sources, we share the press release as provided by the Civil Liberties Defense Center.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 18, 2022
Lauren Regan, Executive Director & Senior Staff Attorney
Chava Shapiro, Engagement Specialist
Imprisoned Anti-racist Activist Eric King Acquitted of New Charges
Denver, CO — On March 18th, a jury acquitted anti-racist and anti-fascist political prisoner Eric King on the count of “assaulting” a federal officer. After hearing hours of compelling testimony from King himself, the jurors were rightly convinced of his constitutionally protected rights to defend himself against threat of death or bodily injury, even when that threat came from a corrections officer at the Bureau of Prisons.
This victory belongs not only to King, but to his family, community of supporters, and most importantly to all those who have fallen victim to the horrific abuses and torture the Bureau of Prisons metes out on a daily basis in facilities across the country.
CLDC executive director, Lauren Regan was thrilled with the verdict, stating “on behalf of the entire CLDC team, we are thankful for the trust and friendship that Eric King shared with us and we feel fortunate for the privilege to defend him and to work with his family and community in order to bring justice to light within the confines of the federal Bureau of Prisons. This was a long and arduous battle against State power, and we are appreciative for the jury’s earnest deliberation.”
“When Eric made the decision to fight back against these trumped-up charges of assault brought against him, he made the choice to extend the same values of anti-racism and anti-fascism that moved him to act in 2014 in solidarity with the uprisings in Ferguson, Missouri,” said Josh Davidson, a member of the Eric King Support Committee. This case was fought not only with the goal of returning King home to his family without any additional years of his life being stolen away, but with the goal of holding the BOP accountable in order to make that place survivable for others by at least shedding light on the secretive system of racism and abuse that has been running rampant within the BOP.
This outcome is even more momentous given the government’s fierce opposition to King’s courageous efforts to tell the world about his plight and that of others held in custody.
Despite this victory, the obstacles he continues to face are immense. The BOP and the U.S. Government continue to hold him in some of the most inhumane conditions throughout the system, with only 40 federal prisoners held in solitary confinement for more than a year (Eric King has been held in solitary for more than three years).
CLDC will continue to fight alongside Eric King for justice for himself and others. In May 2021 we filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on King’s behalf under Bivens v. Six Unnamed Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), the Federal Tort Claims Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act, against the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and numerous correctional officers and BOP staff. The complaint alleges that BOP officers have collaborated with each other, and with white supremacist prisoners, to target, harass, and assault King.
“The truth prevailed today,” said Lauren Regan.
We are heartened by the continued resilience and strength of King’s certitude. He is scheduled for release in 2023 and will continue to rely upon outside supporters to make it through. You can learn more about ways to directly support him during his remaining sentence by visiting supportericking.org.
(We’re still not Buzzfeed, alas, but it is not impossible to attest that you’ll look great in blue if you’re a Pisces, and your favorite food is a soyrizo burrito.)
Citing the description provided by SupportKing.org
(18 U.S.C. § 844[h])
Schiano, Chris. Eric King Given 10 Year Sentence for Molotov Attack on Empty Govt Building. UnicornRiot, 2016.
A. Vrca; V. Bozikov; Z. Brzović; R. Fuchs; M. Malinar (September 1996). "Visual evoked potentials in relation to factors of imprisonment in detention camps". International Journal of Legal Medicine.
The Eric King Support Crew, June 28, 2016.
“and repeatedly kicked him in the head, face, stomach and ribs while yelling death threats at him. He was tied to a four-point restraint for eight hours.”
“Four more guards reportedly dragged King into the hallway and repeatedly kicked him in the head, face, stomach and ribs while yelling death threats. He was tied to a four-point restraint for eight hours in a pool of his own blood and urine, and was repeatedly denied medical care, mail and lawyer visits (long before visits were restricted due to COVID-19).”
Our manifesto opposes the dissemination of triggering images.