Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Cornelius' gruelling story, and gratitude for your support

First and foremost I want to thank all of you who has sent positive vibes my way throughout my ordeal. Your support gives me strength to continue on with my fight disregarding the petty tactics used by these cowards and attempt to break me.

On February 25, I was finally assessed by medical for my hunger and fluid strike. My weight was 211lbs. My urine was dark orange, and my blood appears thick inside the tube. Today is the 27th and I have not been medically assessed for my hunger strike which should happen. According to the BOP hunger strike policy I am supposed to be medically accessed daily.

I have not had the energy to maintain a journal, I have only had the energy to lay down and attempt to block out the pain I am experiencing. It is taking me everything to sit here and write this, but it is important for me to report my physical condition in the case that my health fails these people can be held accountable.

Before you can understand my reasons for engaging in such extreme measures you must first understand the history leading up to this point.

Back in November 2007, after being seriously assaulted by several correctional officers at the southern Ohio Correctional Facility (SOCF/Lucasville), in which I received a fractured jaw, two cracked ribs and swelling to my face and skull, I was immediately transfer to Ohio State Penitentiary (OSP) in an attempt to cover up the assault. The assault by Lucasville officers was definitely racially motivated and while the camera footage proved the assault was filed, none of the officers involved was punished for their actions.

When I got to OSP, I was met in the receiving area by Officer Waylon Wine who made the statement to me "if you think that time here will be any easier "than Luc" you have another thing coming". Not wanting to create any new problems inside a new prison I just held my tongue and went through the orientation process.

It only took days after I was assigned to a unit that the harassment started, and the officers who harass me made it clear. That their actions was due to the Lucasville incident. At that point the harassment was minor, refusing me recreations, showers, pulling me out of my cell just to toss my property around on the floor, and the small threats. Each week my patience grew thin and I began to verbalize and disapprove of the faul treatment and I submitted several complaints to the administration. After a few months the harassment became out of control with no relief from administration, so after c/o Siddens cut my recreation short by 30 minutes I refused to lock down, and demanded to speak with a supervisor. When the known racist lieutenant Galloway came to the pod door and refused to hear my complaint I began to destroy the pod by slamming the pod TV into the front window and using pieces to break out the REC windows and break the sprinkler head causing major flooding in the unit. After several hours of protesting I eventually cooled off and submitted to restraints where I was then escorted to the hole. The harassment by these officers continue throughout my stay in the hole, my security status was increased to Supermax shortly after.

When I landed on the Super Max unit the harassment was turned up times 10. I tried to overlook what was being done to me in an effort to work my way through the level system at OSP Supermax for patience has its limits and mine was pushed to that point.

On October 18, 2008 after having my wreck in shower taken from me for the fifth time in a row was the last straw for me. My only option at that point was to fight the extraction team, this would not only bring attention to what's going on but it will allow me the opportunity to relieve some built up frustration.

After I yanked the handcuffs into my cell I could not be talked into giving the handcuffs back by the negotiator, mace was sprayed into my cell and a team rushed into my cell bending and contouring my limbs while the other officers rain down kicks and punches on my head and torso. While I received my injuries I was taken to the whole without medical attention.

On October 19th 2008, a day after the cell extraction, c/o Timothy  McVay worked my pod and when he came to do recreation we began to go back and forth at each other with verbal assaults. There has always been bad blood between me and this officer so the situation that followed was not a surprise.

Officer McVay began to slam his close fist  into my window while telling me he was going to put the handcuffs on me Loose and show everyone in the pod how much of a bitch I was. While away from my cell he would grab his crotch and thrust himself at me telling me to suck his cock. When he came to cuff me up I informed him that if you put them cuffs on me with that I will take that as a threat and do what I need to do to defend myself.

Before cuffing me up, he demanded that I stripped so he can make sure that I didn't have any weapons on me. After strip searching me he one click the both of my handcuffs and told me to wait until I came out of the cell before removing the cuffs. At that moment my door came open the situation became very real, and while I would have loved to slap the cuffs and get back at this coward for all the harassment he's called me, I began to think about my freedom I knew if I slipped the cuffs and I started this officer I could forget about having a chance at coming home one day so I thought better and prepare myself for recreation.

When I turn to walk to recreation c/o McVay began to scream in my face, "come on motherfucker swing motherfucker swing!" I began to yell back at him telling him to swing first and out of nowhere he's doing a closed fist at me striking me in the face, and that's when I remove the cuffs from my wrist and defended myself by striking him twice in the face with my left and right fist. An attempt to retreat he ran and fell down a flight of steps.

This incident led to attempted aggravated murder charges and later went to trial were I was acquitted. The jury found that I defended myself and came back not guilty on its verdicts.

You can only imagine how much harassment I received following this incident, the harassment I received was harsh and inhumane. My entire pack up was destroyed, my family pictures were ripped up, my hygiene was flushed down the toilet, my incoming and outgoing mail was destroyed, my life was threatened and my food was tampered with regularly.

The threats I received were the worst because they played on my mind and when one is tortured mentally in this way it cause you to be paranoid and on guard at all times, losing sleep and thinking about nothing but being attacked and trying to figure out ways to defend your self in case of an attack. C/O's would rattle my door on the late shift while screaming causing me to jump from my bed in defense stance thinking someone was charging into my cell causing me harm. I went from not thinking about weapons to now obsessing over them spending days and nights thinking about ways to make them just in case I had to use one to defend myself if I was attacked, because in my mind it was only a matter of time before I am attacked.

On December 30th 2008 I was woke up by a loud bang on my door at approximately 7:15 a.m. by c/o Turpack. When I jumped out of bed struggling to see enough to identify the officer staring into my cell what does large grin on his face. As I moved closer to the door he whispered through the door "today is the day you get yours." December 30th 2008 was a [non-]movement day so I half dismissed this thread but I didn't go back to sleep because I was no doubt paranoid.

Throughout the entire day while conducting routine security checks, officers would walk pass myself making threats at me. Some would say "today is the day" other would say "what goes around comes around" and others would just grin and smirk. When I looked into the control booth I noticed maybe 15 or more officers huddled up around the lieutenant. The tension was so evident that fellow prisoners in my pod begin to warm me that something was up, and not to come up under no circumstances and to be ready just in case something was to happen. Thinking that I wasn't alone in my observation of the potential threat I begin to prepare myself for a cell extraction being that there was no other way that could justify themselves running into my cell.

After I was prepared for an attack I hit my emergency button to request to speak with a supervisor and shortly after my request lieutenant bright came into the pod. When lieutenant bright came into my cell I informed him of the threats I was receiving and he simply told me that if I denied assault staff I wouldn't have anything to worry about. I informed him that if any one of his officers try to cause me harm I will do everything in my power to defend myself. He told me to do what I had to do because they will do what they have to do. He then spreading his arms in a challenging manner before walking out of the pod.

Shortly after lieutenant walked out of the pod c/o Burns and c/o Hawn came into the pod when they got to my cell. Officer Hawn went to my neighbor's cell which was maybe a foot away from my cell and demanding my neighbor to come up, and when he asked where he was going they told him to shut up and come up. After my neighbor was in restraints c/o Burns pulled his stick out and called on the radio for my cell door to be open. I thought I heard him wrong but with my cell door cracked I know I wasn't mistaken. Not wanting to be trapped into the cell which two officers and a team waiting to rush the pod, I stepped out of the cell. When I stepped out, c/o burns want to stick at me striking me in the head. [...] by this officer oversizing me by 2 feet and more than 30 pounds he trampled me to the floor. While on the ground with this officer on top of me he began to press his stick into my neck cutting off my breathing. I grabbed the stick and use all of my power to turn this c/o over and when I was able to turn his stick to take pressure off of my neck and slide him off of me a little he began to retreat from the struggle and back away as we both got to our feet. When I seen him struggling I thought maybe he was out of breath, so when the threat was no more I locked back down in my cell.

Due to the fact that I had challenged these corrupt prison officials physically and was successful in court of life the Ohio State Department of Corrections instead of investigating these offices for targeting me and attempting to cause me physical harm they went against my wishes to transfer me out of state to the state of Maryland where I was treated inhumane throughout my 5 months stay there. Ultimately I was transferred back to Ohio where the harassment of me and my property resumed which led to the next situation.

December 16th 2014, after our school program was over the entire group refused to go back until we had the opportunity to speak with that supervisor to protest the conditions in the unit. The escorting officers told us that he was not calling anyone, he was going to escort us back to our cells and that was it.

The situation got verbally heated as me and the officer got into a heated dispute, he spit in my face. My knee jerk reaction was to reach through the bars and smack him as he moved his head to dodge my smack my thumb nail clipped his jaw line. Two officers then left the program area. Understand that we would all be strip searched for contraband the prisoners in the program began to unload their contraband in the general area. Well then the officers returned to deal with the situation they noticed two homemade knives on the ground and in an attempt to inflate the stretch scratch that the officer received charged up the incident report by saying I stabbed the c/o in his neck. If no weapons would have been found in the general area in the program area, these charges would have never been egregiously exaggerated.

When I went to my ADX control unit hearing the hearing aministrator informed me that the Ohio State Department of Corrections attempted to ship me to several other states but none would accept me. He went on further to state that it appear that Ohio is determined to get rid of me not because I pose a threat to prison officials in Ohio, but because of my personal safety. If this is the case then why is the GOP pushing for me to be placed in the most heart prison in the United States? This is clearly an attempt by the Ohio State Department of Corrections to use the BOP as its excutioner and I refuse to accept this as my fate.

The aforementioned reasons are the justification being used to place me in the ADX, incidents that were acquitted in state court, incidents that [were alleged] out of the state of Maryland, incidents that are not only third party information but flat out untrue. Accidents that are egregiously exaggerated are the best at the Ohio State Department of Corrections to come up with to send me off into a situation that is sure to cause me [torture] in my life.

I have been on a hunger strike since February 17th, but the prison officials here refuse to acknowledge my Meal refusals. It wasn't until February 25th at my hunger strike was recorded and since then no one has come to address my issues.

I know this is a lot to take in at once but I hope that enough support could be rallied in my favorite to stop the injustice that is being done to me I am guilty of nothing but protecting and defending myself against the documented bullies and abusers. If the administration would have taken the steps to defend and protect me I wouldn't be put in the position to protect myself.

My mind is empty. I don't think I have much longer before my organs start to fail, 6 days and counting without fluids must be a record. Thank you for the love and support.

Cornelius Harris, #99779-555
United States Penitentiary
P.O Box 7000
Florence, CO 81226

Friday, March 4, 2016

Press Release: URGENT APPEAL for HELP, Support for Cornelius Harris

Press Release: URGENT APPEAL for HELP, Support for Cornelius Harris
March 4th, 2016

On Feb, 17th 2016 Ohio State prisoner Cornelius Harris, held in USP Florence-High security prison in an unwanted out-of-state transfer, refused his first meal at breakfast and every meal thereafter, until he will be transferred back to Ohio.

Cornelius is now after 16 days experiencing sharp pains in his kidneys and chest. His breathing is getting weak and his heart is slowing down. He has has no medical attention. They took all his belongings including his legal material in which he needs for his cases. He doesn't know how much longer he has but time is ticking. 

His reasons for this radical action that takes his health is because this is the only peaceful way he can try to be heard for the following reasons:

Cornelius cannot pursue fighting his legal case while he is out-of-state in the federal system. His Due Process of Law Rights is being violated.

Cornelius has been locked up in solitary confinement for years on end and now in the federal system with the threat they may move him to the federal admax (ADX), a prison that is considered one of the worst in the country in terms of isolating prisoners and making it extremely difficult for prisoners to be heard, let alone fight their legal cases, is just adding psychological torture.

About Cornelius:
Cornelius Harris is a 33 year-old prisoner from Ohio who was transferred last year from the Ohio state prison system to the Federal prison system unwillingly, because he struggled strongly against being oppressed. He has been on several longer hungerstrikes, and he was also transferred unwillingly to Maryland, where he was treated very badly, even tortured for days on end in restraining chairs.

Cornelius needs justice, support, education, programs with content, a future! Cornelius' life matters to us!

What can you do to help?
PLEASE call the North Regional Director of the Bureau of Prisons, and politely tell them you are calling out of concern for Cornelius Harris, inmate nr #99779-555, who has been refusing food since February 17th, and that you ask the Director to return Cornelius to Ohio State Prison System as soon as possible.

North regional director email:

Phone: 9136213939

Director of Federal Bureau of Prisons
Name: Thomas R. Kane
Phone : 2023073198

Warden T.K Cozza-Rhodes
Email: FLP/ExecAssistant@bop.gov
Phone: 7197849454

Finally PLEASE write to Cornelius and show him your support:

Cornelius Harris #99779-555
USP Florence – High
P.O. BOX 7000

We, Cornelius' friends and supporters, have a weblog for Cornelius at: