US Marijuana Party

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Inamte Abuse is Pervasive in U.S.

Police Brutality Posted by Hello
Goodwater, Alabama - According to his mother, Daniel Bryan Kelley will never be the same after spending a little more than two months in the Coosa County Jail.

"The damage that was done to Bryan can't be undone," Wanda Kelley said.

Citing abusive and harassing treatment which caused permanent physical injury as well mental and emotional injuries while in the Coosa County Jail, Bryan Kelley filed a claim against the Coosa County Commission Dec. 1.

The claim states Kelley was denied adequate medical treatment and was subjected to inhumane and unfit living conditions, but no charges have been filed against the jail or the commission.

"I don't expect a jail to be a Holiday Inn but they should be treated like humans," Kelley's mother said.

According to his mother, Kelley was put into solitary confinement for more than 40 days in the Rockford jail.

"The sheriff claimed it was for medical reasons," she said. "He said that the room was a medical treatment room."

According to the claim notice, the cell referred to as "the hole" did not have clean water for drinking and washing; it did not have a bed, and Kelley was forced to sleep on the floor next to the drain hole. It also did not have a toilet, and Kelley was forced to urinate and defecate in the drain hole next to where he slept.

I live about 6 miles from Goodwater, Alabama and I know the Sheriff personally. In fact, he is the first black sheriff ever elected in a white majority county in Alabama. When I worked as a cashier at Kellyton Shop-N-Fill, Sheriff Ricky Owens, who was a deputy at the time, was a regular customer. He and I had numerous conversations about pot. I always thought Ricky was a decent human being. But after reading this story I am no longer sure. However, it isn't just Sheriff Owens jail where "inmates" suffer abuse. It happens in jails and prisons all over the country every single day. When the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal broke earlier this year I did a show comparing it to treatment of American prisoners. There is a pervasive mentality that if you get arrested then you no longer deserve to be treated with any compassion, dignity or respect. The fact that you might be innocent doesn't matter and even if you are guilty as charged that is NOT JUSTIFICATION for the torture and abuse dealt out by police officers and prison guards.

For more on prisoner abuse see
Human Rights Watch
Stop Prisoner Rape
The Rodney Hulin Story


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