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Police Brutality Activist Near Death, Needs Support!
by JoNina M. Abron
Thursday Oct 4th, 2001 8:52 AM
<DIV> </DIV>
<DIV>Dear Friend,</DIV>
<DIV> </DIV>
<DIV>Black anti-police brutality activist Robert C. Mitchell III, a prisoner at the Calhoun County Jail in Battle Creek,
Michigan, is in critical health and may die unless he gets proper medical treatment.</DIV>
<DIV> </DIV>
<DIV>In late August, Robert suffered a stroke, followed days later by a heart attack. This afternoon, I visited him at the
jail, where he had just returned after spending several hours at the hospital because of severe chest pains. He was shaken,
very short of breath and struggled to carry on a conversation with me over the jail telephone. Robert said that his chest
pains started last night and that he was taken to the hospital this morning. He said the doctors told him that the valves in
his heart are not functioning properly. He's scheduled to return to the hospital Thursday morning when the doctors will tell
him what kind of treatment he needs. Robert said that is his chest pains return before the morning, the doctors told him to go
back to the hospital immediately. It is *outrageous* that the sheriff's deputies at the jail didn't leave Robert at the
hospital!! I saw with my own eyes, and I'm very afraid that I might a phone call tonight that he's dead.</DIV>
<DIV> </DIV>
<DIV>One reason that Robert Mitchell is being denied the proper medical care is that he is a black man who dared to organize
aganist police brutality and racial profiling in the racist town of Battle Creek, Michigan. When he was on the verge of
building a strong anti-racist movement, the police, with the help of a white woman (the old tried and true method of
destroying the character and credibility of a black man), framed Robert on charges they know he did not commit. He's accused
of kidnapping and beating Deborah Sparks Gordon in July, 2000. Police claim Robert and Gordon argued after she threatened to
tell the black woman with whom Robert was living about his alleged affair with Gordon. All along, Robert has been saying that
he was framed, and the police crime lab reports that he now has in his possession prove his innocence. None of his
fingerprints were found at the "crime scene," Gordon's home. Robert's prints weren't there because he wasn't there. Gordon
lied under oa!
th during the preliminary hearing. Because he previously served time in prison for practicing law without a license, Robert
will spend the rest of his life in prison under "three strikes and you're out" if he's convicted of assaulting Gordon.</DIV>
<DIV> </DIV>
<DIV>Another reason that Robert is being denied adequate medical care is that he has earned the wrath of Calhoun County
Sheriff Allen Byam, whose office runs the jail. In July, Robert and several other black inmates at the jail filed a federal
civil rights lawsuit charging Byam and his staff with systematic racial discrimination. Robert, who is a trained paralegal,
prepared the lawsuit.</DIV>
<DIV> </DIV>
<DIV>Unless Robert gets immediate help from the outside, he may die in jail before he can prove his innocence in court. You
can help by writing to Sheriff Allen Byam demanding that Robert be allowed to stay in the hospital until the doctors say that
he is out of danger. As soon as possible, please e-mail the letter below, or write on one of your own.</DIV>
<DIV> </DIV>
<DIV>Stop the racist railroading and persecution of Robert Mitchell!</DIV>