The following letter from Chairman Shaka Zulu of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party – Prison Chapter, was written to Cindy Ford, coordinator of the Division of Operations at the New Jersey department of corrections, on January 27, 2015. As the letter makes clear, Shaka Zulu is being subjected to harassment and threats from a number of senior corrections officers (SCOs) at Northern State Prison.
Shaka Zulu needs to be transferred from Northern State Prison, for his own safety.
People are urged to send emails to the New Jersey department of corrections to insist that Shaka Zulu be transferred as soon as possible: http://www.state.nj.us/corrections/pages/email_Us.html
Please also consider phoning the prisoncrats:
- NJDOC all-purpose # is (609) 292-4036
- Northern State Prison # is (973) 465-0068
Whether emailing or phoning or both, it is best to include Shaka’s SIB number: 661323B.
Three points to stress:
- you have heard about Shaka Zulu being harassed and threatened by senior corrections officers at Northern State Prison
- you are deeply concerned and worried about this situation
- you strongly urge that Shaka Zulu be transferred to another institution, as soon as possible
Here is Shaka’s recent letter to the corrections officials, outlining his situation:
Fr: Shaka Zulu # 661323-B
Northern State Prison
To: Coordinator Cindy Ford
Division of Operations
In my first letter to Commissioner Lanigan I put forth a number of staff abuse and harassment charges against several senior correctional officers here at Northern State Prison. Those officers were SCO Wasik, SCO Doyel, SCO Gonzales.
Those charges led to S.I.D. visiting me on 1.7.15. At that meeting S.I.D. Ubukwe asked me to reiterate what happened. I wrote 4 pages naming the abusive SCO’s mentioned above. When done S.I.D. Ubukwe asked me “was I afraid of those SCO’s?” I said very much so. I was then placed in handcuffs and transferred to D-Wing (T.C.C.). The very next day (1.8.2015) I was released to A.3.W (G.P.), and met by a Sgt. named Castro. He told me not to get comfortable because I would be shipped to East Jersey State Prison on 1-9-15.
THE SECRET MEETING
On 1-8-15, around 3:00 pm Sgt. Castro called A-3-W and told the officer to send me to the Educational Department (E.D.). I was very reluctant to go at first, but I did not want a disciplinary charge so I went. When I arrived I was directed by SCO Tyson to travel down a long corridor where I was met by Sgt. Castro, Sgt. Brennav, another Sgt. who’s name I did not catch, and SCO Wasik (the protagonist… No, the antagonist)
SCO Wasik started ranting and raving, literally inches from my face, calling me all kinds of names – derogatory and belittling names. He mentioned that I was scum, that his word over mine will win out any day, especially with Assistant Administrator Sweeney. He said that my life here at Northern State Prison will be a living “hell”. Then he left.
At this time Sgt. Castro stepped up to the plate. He started poking me in the chest and pushing me against the wall calling me an “asshole”. He was trying to provoke me, but I said nothing and made no aggressive move. The phone… the sound of the phone interrupted him and startled him because he was ready to pounce.
He picked up the phone: “The fucking guy isn’t saying anything.” “He’s not responding.”
Sgt. Castro hung up the phone and said “S.I.D. said to shut my fucking mouth.” At that statement I requested T.C.C. Sgt. Castro got on the phone with a Lt. Infante – When he hung up the phone he radioed for escort officers who told me to place my hands on the wall. I did. I was taken to D-Wing and placed on pre-hearing detention (lock-up), and on 1.9.15 I was given a 256 refusing to obey charge written by Sgt. Castro and authorized by Lt. Infante.
It is clear that S.I.D. at NSP has failed to conduct an informal investigation, to get this thing resolved because SCO Wasik works under Lt. Hudson, who is protecting him, and according to him so is Assistant Administrator Sweeney. The line by a Mr. Pena that S.I.D. “found no grounds to substantiate the allegations” sounds eerily familiar to victims of police brutality.
The ersatz charges that now have me confined to administrative segregation for 90 days derive from the prison establishment here at NSP, attempt to silence a progressive voice, but I will not shut up… because no matter what price I have to pay as an individual – I’m not going to tolerate injustice.
SCO Bobby Wasik told me and Sgt. Castro that he runs this prison, that nothing move without him. He appears to be right.
When Brotha Mike Defrecce was beat up and savagely abused by SCO Bobby Wasik and SCO Doyel he reported what happened to him to S.I.D. here at the prison… instead of investigating the claims S.I.D. sent him back to his housing unit on B Wing. It was only after contacting S.I.D. at the Department of Corrections (DOC) in New Jersey did he get some traction on the charges he made. S.I.D. at DOC conducted an independent and somewhat impartial inquest and determined that he in fact was a “punching bag”, to use the words of a nameless victim of B. Wasik. So they transferred him to another prison. There are countless victims here at NSP who have been cowered into silenced. All we ask is that you conduct a cursory on-the-scene investigation and it will be readily apparent of the lawlessness by B. Wasik here at the prison. Now mind you, all of this brutality takes place when prisoners are placed in handcuffs, but a day is coming when the victims will not remain passive and meek – so I sincerely caution you to reign in this cowboy before he murder someone at this prison.
When this last charge was hung on me – a 254 refusing to move, I asked the hearing officer to consider all the reports I submitted to S.I.D. and to the Administrator here at the prison and to the head of DOC Commissioner G. Lanigan. After her investigation she even recommended that I be transferred to another prison for my own safety. I ask that you comply with her recommendation and send me to another facility so I can continue on my path of redemption and rehabilitation. As you can see from my prison file I have a stellar record of participation in educational activities, and been charge-free for 10 years until I encountered SCO Wasik and Sgt. Castro.