The following from Philly’s Human Rights Coalition/Fed Up! Chapter:
Distribute Far and Wide and Please Take Immediate Action
HRC/Fed Up! has received correspondence from five prisoners in the Special Management Unit (SMU–the most restrictive hole in Pennsylvania) in the last week to report that prison guards and the Unit Manager are starving an inmate as a means of retaliation. We have also been contacted by the inmate’s family.
Gary Tucker #FG8520 has been denied breakfast and lunch since 6/19/08, and not been fed at all since 6/26/08. Mr. Tucker was brutally assaulted by 5 or 6 prison guards on 1/29/08, and his efforts at pursuing a grievance in the matter were officially exhausted on 6/18/08.
Unit Manager Chambers, Correctional Officer Bankes, and Sgt. Jones have been implicated as the ringleaders of this targeted starvation. The official rationale given for depriving Mr. Tucker of his human rights–and potentially his life–is that he has been wearing a t-shirt wrapped around his head. Mr. Tucker claims to have been doing this since 2006, and other prisoners in the SMU have written to HRC that they too have wrapped t-shirts around their heads to test the policy. They still receive food.
Given the urgency of the situation we are asking that our allies and all those in solidarity with prisoners and advocates of fundamental human rights call SCI Camp HIll immediateley. Our brothers in the SMU have taken considerable risk to coordinate a letter-writing campaign on behalf of their fellow prisoner. Now it is up to us to do our part and demonstrate that their trust was well placed.
Contact SCI Camp Hill (717-737-4531) and ask for the Superintendent’s Office, or ask to speak with Robert Volcheck or Unit Manager Chambers. I spoke with Volcheck last week and he claimed that prison guards feared that Mr. Tucker had concealed bodily waste within the towel wrapped around his head and was potentially planning to rush the door and jam his arm out the tiny tray slot and throw it at them. . . . Honestly, it was the most preposterous and downright stupid things I have ever heard.
When we call we should demand the following:
1-Stop Starving Gary Tucker! Give Mr. Tucker all his meals, everyday.
2-Remove Sgt. Jones and C/O Bankes from having contact with Mr. Tucker. These two were involved in the January assault, and while they need to have their employment terminated, for now let’s insist that they be removed from proximity to Mr. Tucker.
Any additional questions, suggestions, or approaches are welcomed. Thanks to those who called for Michael Edwards and sent us feedback. We encourage others to send word and let us know that you called.
HRC/Fed Up! Family
An alert from the Friends and Families of Prisoners Emergency Response Network