Uncensored, August 27, 2005
Welcome to another adventure on the Polunsky unit death camp.
I am feeling a little sore right now. Steven and I refused to leave the outside recreation area. Which is basically a big box with steel bars going through the middle. With steel bars for a roof to let sunlight in. We can see and talk to each other but we are divided by the bars. We refused to exit the recreation area in protest of having to be in extreme heat, while wearing state issued jump-suits.
See Warden Hirsh took all of our commissary bought clothes. Including gym shorts, which we wear to recreation. So we had to suffer in the heat, due to not having any shorts. Well here comes the rank with the camera woman. They did with Steven first. Surprisingly they spray him with LA 10 crowd control pepper spray. The furthest point from the door to the recreation yard is only like 20 feet. So the pepper spray covers him.
They only hit with a 2 second burst. They give their orders and five minutes later throw in a smoke tear gas grenade. It bounces across the recreation yard and boom! Smoke goes everywhere, it then starts spinning and spraying tear gas everywhere. It is a light blue smoke.
For a moment Steven disappeared in a cloud of smoke. Kind of like those magicians do. Well five minutes later in comes the team, they get Steven down and cut off all his clothes, and carry him back to his cell. He will write about it.
The team and rank all then leave the pod.
I hear my fellow level 3 comrade Lizerd yell that they are going to start over. Meaning that they have to get another use of force video tape, and record the team suiting up and coming back to the pod. I walk around for a couple minutes and all of the sudden I hear people kicking on the door letting me know the team is coming back.
One side of the recreation yard has a big wall of windows so the control picket and officers can see the people on the yard. Plus there is a big exhaust vent on the wall above the door to the recreation area. That is how I can hear Lizerd and everyone letting me know they are coming back.
Here comes the rank giving me the orders to submit. HA-yeah right! I see they are about to spray me with the LA-10 pepper spray, so I stand in front of the door as far away as possible that way when they spray me it will all be on one side of the recreation yard.
They spray me, I turn my back and when they stop I walk to the other side, that I wasn’t going to fight them team on. Well 5 minutes pass and in comes the grenade. Bounce, bounce, boom! Smoke goes everywhere and tear gas keeps spraying out. I run over to the grenade and kick it as far away from me that I can.
I walk around for a little bit. The Sergeant keeps trying to get to submit to hand restraints. Well after 5 minutes. I hear the sergeant say to the camera. “Chemical agents appear to have no effect on the offender, so at this time additional chemical agents will be utilized.”
I will be damn, they threw another grenade at me. Bounce, bounce roll a little and boom! I was standing right beside it when it blew up. The grenade itself doesn’t blow up. It just blows the top off. It is a hand held grenade.
Well they had the team ready to come in when they threw the second grenade. It shot tear gas everywhere and here comes the team. I charge the shield I hit the shield and push it up and to the side. I lost traction and fell, but was back up in a blink of an eye and I grabbed a team member and the fight was on.
It all started about 10 feet from the windows and ended up with my head slamming into the window. I had a helmet in my hand. I yanked it off and yanked and broke off the officers gas mask as well. The grenade was still shooting tear gas. So he got it bad!
I then broke another officers gas mask.
By then they had me in position where I could not fight back, so I let them put my hands behind my back and hand cuff me. I told them “all right I am down” and they pulled my homemade gas mask off.
Remember now the grenade is still smoking! I could not breath. Tears started pouring out of my eyes and my nose was pouring mucus. The mucus kept building up in my throat, so I was choking and had to keep spitting it out. I was gasping for air like a fish does when it is out of water. My body kept trying to ball up. I guess from lack of oxygen.
They cut all my clothes off of me. I yelled out, I can’t breath. At that time I could, because I had got adjusted to the gas. But it still was burning my throat so I was trying to get them to take me off the yard quicker. It didn’t work they still cut my clothes off on the yard. They did it real fast though. as I could hear an officer choking.
The officer that I ripped his mask and helmet off ran off the recreation yard choking and coughing. The other one with the broke mask stayed on the yard. They were moving fast for his sake, not mine.
I then made them carry me back to my cell. I am housed on F section. Which is the section where the door to the outside recreation yard is.
There are two outside recreation yards to a pod. One for A-C section and one for D-F section. The pod is shaped like an octagon. I can see D-section while on the yard.
The floor of the recreation yard is concrete.
A-C section is divided from D-F section. A wall runs through the middle. Half of the control picket is on one side and half is on the other. There are cross-over doors, for access to both sides.
It is hard to explain how it is built.
Anyway I get back in my cell’ they take the restraints off of me, back out of my cell. I then get up and give the handcuffs back to them out of the food slot.
A couple hours later I went to sleep and woke up for chow, on fire! It was hot outside, so I was sweating. Well that caused the pours in my skin to be open and the gas reacts with sweat, to cause a burning sensation. I feel asleep on my side, on top of my arm. So the body heat opened my pours up and it felt worse then when I got gassed! O-well, its all apart of it.
I am okay now. Just anytime I take a deep breath I start coughing.
Now on the other topics I want to clear something up. It I believe it was my last article, I wrote that I felt all my actions where positive. By that I meant all my actions in the struggle against the system. I do not feel that every action I have taken in my life was positive. I regret a lot of things I have done, and I didn’t do. Though in the struggle against the system, I feel that none of my actions are negative. I just wanted to clear that up, as I assumed some might take what I wrote the wrong way.
Now that all of that is out of the way. I want to get into something personal. I have been going through a lot lately. Wife, family, and the system. Plus I have already been through a lot. Friends killed by the state, neighbors killing themselves, and so on and so on. Through time it has taken its toll. I find myself losing control of my emotions and becoming consumed with anger and stress. I am even starting to push away those that are trying to help me. The last time I lost control and allowed something to control me, I was with two idiots, that did something stupid and I ended up on death row. For those that do not know, I am referring to my past drug addiction and case.
Plus I am becoming self absorbed. Meaning I am starting to think only about myself. One of the main personality traits, I was known for, prior to coming to death row was being compassionate. That trait is slowly fading away.
These cells are meant to break people down mentally. Plus spending so much time by myself. It is easy to focus only on myself. So I am going to take a break from writing for a couple weeks, so that I can gather my thoughts. I need to climb my own personal mountain. That way I can redirect and focus my thoughts and feelings, before this place makes me loose my mind. I posted a message on my e-group to those that I write and the ones that are on there. That I do not even know. That I am not doing any writing at all.
All my friends and pen-pals can still write me. I will respond when I come down off my mountain. Thinking about the future all the time gets to be too much and starts to eat a person up.
I used to only focus on the present and that is what kept my mind clear. So I got to get back on that path. Fighting the battle against the death penalty needs to be done with love and purpose. Love and dedication to the belief that the death penalty is wrong.
I do suggest two books for people to read. One is “Tuesdays with Morrie” written by Mitch Albom, the other is “The Al Chemist” by Paulo Coelho. Read them in that order, both are small books, with a large message. I strongly suggest all read those books. Especially Irene and Robert Shields mother. Anyone reading this who has a loved one on death row. “Tuesdays with Morrie is a must read.
I am now starting to read both parts of “The Celestine Prophecy” by James Redfield. Because of, as everyone is most likely aware of, Robert Shields was executed. Steven and I lit a big fire the night he was executed in protest of his execution.
Two days later I went to recreation in the section day room and another associate sent me a message that Shields sends his love and respect. Evidently he was there at visitation with Shields before he left.
I tried my damnedest to get out to visitation on the 23rd. I just couldn’t get a visit set up. I regret not stopping to speak with him the last time I was at visitation. I know he expected me to. Hell if I did and the officer complained, I would have just sat down right in front of his visitation cage!
When Patrick Knight gave me Shields message it was on the 24th. I just realized that. I thought it had been longer anyway. It had more of an effect on me, because I got the message after Robert was killed. It had a message from the grave type of effect me.
To Robert Shields’ mother, if she is reading this. Your son was well liked and respected. I wish that I could have gotten to know him better. Though honestly, part of me is glad I didn’t know him better. It is easier that way for me at least. Because if I had known him better it would have been harder to see him go.
Good people sometimes make bad choices. It is a shame that one choice affected a good man’s life. As well as those who love him.
I admire your strength in standing by your son. The same with Richard’s mother. Robert helped people out whenever he could.
He was the first person that Steven talked to. He got Steven out of his cell and active. Steven used to be a hermit and could never leave his cell. Now I can’t get him to stop for nothing.
The first time I met Robert was at visitation we where talking about a mutual friend, Jasen Busby, whom has since been executed as well. I was on F-Pod Level 3. Which means I couldn’t have any commissary. We didn’t even know each other but Robert still got some commissary food to me. To some that might not mean much but to me it spoke a lot about the type of person Robert was. A good man in a bad place.
If you find the time, you should read the book I mentioned. I will warn all that read “Tuesday with Morrie” It had me wiping my eyes.
I forgot to mention the reason that they used two tear gas grenades on me, might have been due to me running around playing basketball. I think that upset them. I actually got hit with 3 grenades. The one that they threw at Steven and the two they threw at me. Ladies and gentleman that is a lot of tear gas!
To address a few people. Karen I sent you a letter. Yes I’ll help you with your project. Even while on my mountain. Flavia I got your letter and responded. I will be sending you an additional letter as well. To everyone else, you all will receive word in the future. I just got to take a mental vacation.
I also wanted to ask the readers of Uncensored for a favor. Suzanne provides a loud voice from death row, pen-pal advertisement and a whole bunch of other stuff. I would ask you, the readers if you could help Suzanne with some small donations to help cover the cost associated with running Uncensored, 1prison.com and 1prison.net. I am asking this on my own. I look at it like this people pay for newspapers and magazines. Uncensored is free, but I know I am more interesting than any newspaper. HA HA! Seriously though, I just wanted to see if you could help Suzanne out a little bit, to with help with cost of stamps, ink, internet fees and so forth. NONE of it would be for me. I appreciate any and all help.
O-yeah if anyone is wondering why my guest Steven didn’t post any article last time. Well that is because I forgot to mail it out. It will get sent this time.
Use the pain to fuel the fire, focus on the goal, walk in faith of success
Veni, Vidi, Vici
3872 FM 350 S.
Livingston, TX 77351