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Indybay Feature
We Need You to Read this Letter from Ramsey Orta!
by WeCopwatch (WeCopwatch [at] gmail.com)
Tuesday May 5th, 2020 9:25 AM
This is a letter from Ramsey Orta. It outlines everything he has been experiencing these past few months and it implicates the entire command structure at Midstate Correctional Facility from the bottom all the way to the top. We want you to email this letter to everyone!
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” When it comes to acquiring solutions to a conflict or meeting needs, western society historically finds resolve in violence, placing band-aids on results, instead of dealing with the root cause of harm…” – Pilar Maschi, No New Jails

” Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare …” – Audre Lorde

In accordance with the Declaration of Independence, I hold this truth to be self-evident: All men and women are created equal. Yet, regardless of how clear this fact may be, there still seems to be an issue with interpretation – especially within the United States prison industrial complex.

The equal protection clause expressed in the eighth amendment guarantees me freedom from cruel and unusual punishment at the hands of prison officials. I am also guaranteed my right to adequate medical care, psychiatric care and the state has a duty to provide a safe and humane place of confinement for its prisoners. New York State’s Department Of Corrections and Community Supervision has an issue with the interpretation of these rights and duties … And because of this blatant disregard towards the rights of the prisoners under their so called care, custody, and supervision; I have endured the worst kinds of racism, discrimination and illegal deprivation without due process, as well as a plethora of other malicious, a-typical hardships here.

At Mid-State C. F. ‘s Special Housing Unit Building F #125. The following is an incident account detailing the chain of events that have become the definition of being a prisoner in a lawless environment. Before I go into it, please keep this in mind:

Again, the State of New York has a legal duty — according to New York corrections law 70 ( 2 ) ( c ) — to “Provide a safe and humane place of confinement for its prisoners…” If the state fails to adhere to these duties, we as incarcerated individuals have a right to bring forth a grievance to address whatever the issue may be. The state then has a duty to properly investigate the matter and to give — when deemed appropriate and lawful — a remedy to said matters.

However, under my current circumstances, I have been the victim of horrendous human rights violations due to my constant complaints in regards to staff misconduct and negligence. My attempts to utilize the inmate grievance program here at Mid-State Correctional Facility have been ignored due to the facility / institutional bias that exists here. Mr. C. Tapia — the Inmate Grievance Program Supervisor — refuses to file a report charging staff members with misconduct or corruption. Instead, these complaints are met with threats to my life and safety, encouraged by administrative personnel — starting from the superintendent, William Fennessy, on down.

Superintendent Fennessy : Endorsed and encouraged a non-stop campaign of harassment, threats, and all other forms of deliberate indifference, with sanctioned impunity. He lied to my attorney, saying I was being afforded cleaning supplies while on property deprivation (3-13-20 to 3-21-20).

Deputy Superintendent of Security Burns: Also endorsed the above amongst his security staff. He also lied to my attorney in regards to conditions and procedure. He accuses me of being the reason the prisoners are complaining and I should watch myself.

Lt. Klein: Threatened me after my loved ones called and made a report about staff misconduct. He told me to call back my loved ones and tell them to stop calling or I will make my stay here more harder than it already is. He also accuses me of being the reason the prisoners are complaining about them being denied basic human rights.

Sgt. Mayo: Warrantless and illegal deprivation orders because of these complaints. He asked me, “Why aren’t you scared of me?” and later said “this is what happens when you drop snitch slips on officers. Next time I won’t take your level, your life might be better.” ( The level he mentioned was a level reduction form. )

Sgt. Roth: She wrote a fabricated misbehavior report ( that was later dismissed at a disciplinary hearing due to video footage ) on behalf of Supt. Fennessy .

Sgt. Howard: On 4/14/ 20, he asked inmate l. Williams( DIN: 17A4483), ” They didn’t kill you yet?!” This was in reference to an incident this Sgt. was a part of with this prisoner being the victim of a vicious gang-style assault by DOCCS employees. On 4-21-20, he came to my cell ( AI-9 ) and asked me and my cellmate D. Presley (DIN: 14B1539 ) “Are you hungry? Because if you are, you could eat my cxxx.” He then smiled and said “You’re going to learn soon,” as he walked away.

C.O. Whitman: She wrote a fabricated misbehavior report on 3/4/20 on my cellmate, Daniel Presley (DIN: 14B1539), which was also dismissed at hearing.

C.O. Crego: On 4-1-20, he told me that “he had contracted COVID-19 and that he hopes he gives it to me and the inmate population.” Days later, there were confirmed cases of COVID-19 in this facility.

C.O. Place: She refused to handout, extra hygiene products to the whole A1 gallery ( Cells 1 – 13) and said, “We better not say anything or we will end up like inmate l. Williams (DIN: 17A4483) did” because of her. She also stated “Niggers don’t wash up anyways.”

C.O. Bork: He threatened my life, as well as my cellmate D. Presley (DIN: 14B1539) During a lawns and grounds detail he said, ” Let’s hope y’all make it home alive, assholes !”

C.O. Brotel: Denied me a grievance form, which he described as a “snitch slip” and threatened to break my hands, so I couldn’t write anymore slips.

Sgt. Price: He refused to call medical to report an anxiety attack my cellmate D. Presley (DIN: 14B1539) was having. Instead, he fabricated a report to have my cellmate sent to a mental health observation cell in retaliation to him asking why he was being illegally deprived of his state mandated phone privileges. This deliberate indifference caused him severe mental anguish, distress, pain, and suffering. He also lied and said he saw my cellmate bang his head against the wall. This led Nurse Johnson to falsify a medical screening to further the agenda of the security staff. Note: No injuries of such were ever reported or logged.

This is just a glimpse at the extent the officers and state employees will go to enforce their agenda and interest. As prisoners within this tainted system, we are expected to “Bite the Bullet”, “Hold it down”, and “Wear it” when it comes to the hardships we endure at the hands of state DOCC’S employees. Blacks Law Dictionary defines negligence as the “failure to exercise the standard of care that a reasonably prudent person would have exercised in a similar situation.” A “Reasonably Prudent” individual would have the intellectual capacity to know that this negligent behavior is not reasonably related to legitimate penological or state interest! The repetitive nature of these acts of official misconduct shows a pattern, and this pattern of misconduct must now be viewed as deliberate indifference towards the human rights of the prisoner populace.

These DOCCS employees working under the color of law with a badge of authority from the State of New York, knowingly and maliciously engage in criminal activity with state sanctioned impunity from acting Commissioner of DOCCS, Anthony Annucci. And because there are no safeguard procedures in place to prevent this behavior, their lack of diversity training allows racism to run rampant. Discrimination, and racially motivated preconceived notions are, everyday occurrences.

These correctional facilities have become corruption factories, creating an underreported phenomenon known as institutional bullying because there are no consequences for anything these DOCCS employees say or do. Because of this inter-departmental bias against the prisoner population, these staff members have free range of motion to do as they please. This includes instigation (spreading propaganda about prisoners to other prisoners for the sole purpose of marking them for possible harm … especially if you don’t get along with staff ), fabricated reports, illegal deprivations, death threats, assaults by staff, staff antagonism, etc…

The media and outside world are fed false accounts by DOCCS personnel in agreement with this agenda, painting the prisoner population as subhuman and animalistic. Yet they fail to report the numerous gang style assaults of inmates by staff, the numerous accounts of deaths by staff, the numerous accounts of the planting of weapons, the false reports of assault on staff , amongst the thousands of under or un-reported human rights violations by DOCCS.

Now this is not an attempt to paint all incarcerated individuals as angelic victims. But my sentence, or the sentence of the 2.2 million prisoners throughout the U.S., did not include being victims to criminal activity at the hands of those employed and entrusted with the duty to uphold the same laws they’re breaking, while illegally using my criminal conviction as justification for their blatant disregard for the law.

It’s been said that if you want to see how a country truly views their people, look at the conditions and circumstances within their prison. As a prisoner, I have endured the worst kind of treatment and it’s only getting worse. Who will guard the guards? Because the admin personnel down to the newest recruit all adhere to the same doctrines. This has created a very dangerous environment, especially in a facility like Mid-State C. F. Where there’s a history here of inmates dying from being viciously assaulted by security staff.

So again, who will guard the guards? It is our duty as freedom demanding citizens of the U.S. to demand that the local, state and governments acknowledge and enforce the facts described in the Declaration of Independence – All men and women are created equal, and we should be protected from all attempts to to deprive anyone of that inalienable right.

I’m asking for Help. Not just for me, but for all who may not have a voice or may have been a victim due to their voice.

I’m asking for us to consolidate our voices and energies and make noise where the establishment may want quiet. In the midst of a crisis, state employed, tax-payer funded peace officers are looking for ways to get away with criminal activity at the expense of the prisoner populace. I’m asking you to call your local and state representatives and to report what’s going on inside their prisons. Call and email, and post, and share, and repeat!

This has to be addressed, and a voice must be given and heard on behalf of the voiceless. I will continue voicing my own disdain for the current state of affairs within NYSDOCC until business as usual becomes business discontinued. Stand up, speak up and reach out, this is a non-stop struggle! Black lives matter, brown lives matter, minority lives matter, oppressed lives matter, white lives matter, and most important, caged lives matter! Each one. Teach one. That’s how we reach one. Help stop institutional bullying, corruption and official misconduct.

Enough is enough – enough means now! Freedom becomes more than just a theoretical concept in this country , the struggle continues… Pamoha Tuta Shinda Uhuru Sasa! (Together we will win freedom now!)

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“A wall is a wall and nothing else at all. It can be broken down!” – Assata Shakur

Respectfully….the Black Fist Warrior,

Ramsey Orta

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Spread this Far and Wide!

We want you to email Albany, The Commissioner, Governor Cuomo, but we really want you to contact every media outlet, every grassroots organization, every email chain you have. We want this letter spread far and wide because it details what Ramsey, inmates at Midstate Correctional Facility, and across the prisoners across the nation are dealing with.

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Instructions on Emails:

1. When you email, speak from your heart. You can mention any officer, any incident, or the underlining treatment articulated in this letter.
2. Explain that you are lodging a complaint on behalf of Ramsey Orta 16A4200.
3. Be sure to mention that the attached letter has also been sent to Lawyers, Media, and Organizations across the country

Some Places to Email

Governor Cuomo

https://www.governor.ny.gov/content/governor-contact-form
(518) 474-8390

Office of Special Investigations (OSI) - DOCCS
Email: OSIComplaint [at] doccs.ny.gov
Phone: (844) 674-4697

Anthony J. Annucci: Acting Commissioner for New York State Prisons
Email: Commissioner [at] doccs.ny.gov
Phone: (518) 457-8134

Acting Executive Deputy Commissioner - Daniel F. Martuscello, lll
Email: Daniel.Martuscello [at] doccs.ny.gov
Phone: (518) 457-8126

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Contact Info

If you want to support please reach out to us. OfficialRamseyOrta [at] gmail.com and WeCopwatch [at] gmail.com

We appreciate all of you who have helped support Ramsey throughout his incarceration.
Jacob Crawford and Deja Richardson.

If you want to support him directly you can also write:

Ramsey Orta 16A4200
P. O. Box 2500,
Marcy, NY 13403-0216
(be sure to put name and address on return address area or it will be thrown away)

Paypal: OfficialRamseyOrta [at] gmail.com

Welcome Home Fund https://www.gofundme.com/f/ramsey-orta-welcome-home-fund
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