Thursday, 7 April 2016

Court Report Wed April 6 – Day 3 of the Dallas 6 Trial

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Prison officials and police grilled on brutal cell extractions and riot charges

graphic by Molly Crabapple
Painful videos of the cell extractions were shown. (Some of the video Carrington’s cell extraction can be seen here). Andre Jacobs is heard saying "they are going to kill me" before they carry him out as he is unable to walk.  Duane Peters was placed in the restraint chair. Carrington Keys was thrown naked on a cold concrete floor to be body-searched, and his wrists were injured. 
Andre questioned Lt Mozier whether he recalls that he had complied and removed the covering on his cell, and why the use of pepper spray.
Carrington questioned the absence of evidence of and testing for feces.  Wiseman, attorney for Peters asked why the men fingered in the HRC report are the ones chosen to remove the men from the cells.
Police investigator Corporal Wilson was grilled on why he took three months to file riot charges, and why he never in that time spoke to the men who were charged, why he took the DOC's word that the men did not want to talk with him.  He said, "There are two sides of the story and the truth is somewhere in between."  In a powerful moment, Andre asked if the April 28 incident (what we know is the 15 hours restraint of prisoner Isaac Sanchez) that prompted the April 29 incident was part of his investigation and he said they were not related. 

graphic by Molly Crabapple
The videos of the actual cell extractions, as opposed to the lead up to the extractions, were finally shown.  Pepper spray is sprayed into the tiny cells before extraction and you can hear the men coughing.  The guards rush into the cells of the men who are not resisting in any way, and Carrington Keys is heard saying "I am not resisting."  Two of the men have covered their faces and head to prevent the guards from pulling their hair and to protect themselves from the pepper spray. 

Lt Mozier was questioned about his awareness of the reports of abuse and asked if it was a staged incident in retaliation.  Andre also said the video showed he had complied with the order to remove the covering so it was not true that "at no time did he comply" and why was that not in the official report.  Also missing from the report was his telling them that he feared for his life.   Attorney Wiseman called the judge's attention to the vigorous head shaking that an officer of the DOC was doing in the gallery which she said had to stop.  Another witness was removed from the court who should not have been there. 

Carrington Keys asked why, if there was feces thrown, did it take two hours to go to medical when the rule is to report contact with bodily fluid immediately, and nothing was mentioned in the videotape of the debriefing, no injuries reported, and no evidence of the clothing that was allegedly contaminated was preserved? 

video still from cell extraction of Carrington Keys
Attorney Wiseman's questioning focused on the brutal aspects of the force used, from electric shocks to pepper spray to restraint chairs. He also cleared up that there were no hostages, which was implied by the psychologist who was called in from the hostage negotiating team.  

Andre Jacobs questioned Corporal Wilson who filed the riot charges.  He asked why he never interviewed him to ascertain if there was legitimate purpose for their action.  He also asked the Corporal if he had a financial interest in this case as he is mentioned in a lawsuit, but the objection by the DA to that question was sustained. Finally, why was the April 28 incident that provoked the April 29 action not included in his investigation?  Carrington Keys asked how he could identify him when he didn't even meet him. Attorney Wiseman hammered on why he did not interview the men for his investigation, how one-sided the investigation was, why he didn't go to the prison and ask to meet the men, and how could he possibly know their intent was to bring the violence of cell extraction down on themselves.

The day ended with the testimony and questioning of two of the guards who had been part of the cell extraction team.  The first said that a liquid substance was thrown but it hit the shield and splattered on him on the sleeve and gloves.  But Carrington Keys questioned how that could have happened when he was the last man in, and why the medical report said he was hit with a cup of urine and feces on his head and why when the extraction was at 10:15 the medical report was not until 12noon.  Further, why when he wrote an incident report was the throwing of urine and feces not mentioned.  The guard replied that he only reported what he did, not what was done to him.  Andre asked if he had met with the DA and on how many occasions. 

Trial is continuing today, Thursday April 7, and then will resume on Monday April 11. 


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March for Freedom for the Dallas 6 at the Luzerne County Courthouse, March 18, 2016