COVID-19 Update at USP Pollock (Lousiana): Behind the Scene Details

By Keith ‘Malik’ Washington

San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper

Today is August 3rd, 2020. By the time that this report is posted I may be on mandatory quarantine. All the prisoners who arrive here at USP Pollock and all prisoners who are preparing to leave must submit to a period of quarantine.

The Unit which is utilized as the housing space for all quarantine prisoners is B-3 which is located in B-building here at USP Pollock. Since December 2019 I have been housed at UsP Pollock and up till now USP Pollock has been one of the few success stories in regard to the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. While other units have been ravaged by the deadly Coronavirus, USP Pollock has remained unscathed and untouched. Recently that good fortune has changed.

For years I have operated in the capacity of an investigative journalist and reporter for the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper. As I prepare for my release I continue to provide the public with details in regard to the conditions inside Amerikan prisons and jails. Since March 2020 I have been focussing on the Federal  Bureau of Prisons response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently there has been a surge in COVID-19 cases in Florida, Arizona, and Texas as well as California. During the past 3 weeks USP Pollock has been accepting prisoners from county jails and Detention centers within the south central region.

What has become extremely problematic is the US Marshal Service bringing COVID-19 infected prisoners to USP Pollock. This week I spoke to a BOP medical staff member here at USP Pollock about the recent introduction of COVID-19 positive prisoners to the compound. The employee requested to remain anonymous. I will honor their request. 

The BOP employee said that during the week of July 27th, 2020, the US Marshal service brought four federal prisoners from the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, area. Out of those four, two tested positive for COVID-19. What is remarkable, the employee said, was that the USP Pollock Prison Administration instructed the medical department to house these infected prisoners on Unit B-3. Unit B-3 is exclusively used to house prisoners who are being discharged into the community as well as prisoners coming into the facility. 

The employee stated that since the Coronavirus is an airborne pathogen it can be easily passed to otherwise healthy prisoners who have found themselves trapped on the so-called quarantine unit of B-3. The employee stated that USP Pollock is out of compliance with the CDC guidelines and that the BOP has been falsifying weekly pandemic response requirement compliance reports. Other employees here at USP Pollock have voiced their frustration with the US Marshal Service’s disregard for the health, safety, and welfare of both prisoners and staff at USP Pollock. 

Recently I have requested that my support team contact the administration here at USP Pollock as well as the BOP’s central office in Washington DC in order to request that I not be housed on Unit B-3 where COVID-19 positive prisoners are being housed with perfectly healthy prisoners. The environment on the B-3 quarantine unit is a closed environment. There are no windows that can be opened and it has been proven that the HVAC system can transmit the deadly Coronavirus. As a 52-year old who suffers from a chronic seizure condition, I believe the BOP is guilty of ‘Deliberate Indifference’ in regard to the handling of COVID-19 positive prisoners. 

US District Court Judge Marcia Cooke has recently ruled that mass quarantining prisoners, a practice known as ‘cohorting’, is out of compliance with both CDC guidelines for correctional facilities and ICE’s pandemic response requirements. Please see the article written by Christopher Zoukis in the July 2020 edition of the Prison Legal News – With Lives of Immigrant Detainees at Risk to COVID-19, Federal Judge forces ICE’s Hand. 

I have personally warned Complex Warden Chris McConnell about the airborne transmission of this deadly coronavirus. I ask that if I should contract this virus while on quarantine on Unit B-3 here at USP Pollock that the agency be held liable in a court of law. Contrary to popular opinion, Prisoner Lives Matter and I will continue to fight for the health, welfare, and safety of all. Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win. All Power to the People.


Covid-19 Update: USP Pollock receives an Infected Prisoner

by Keith ‘Malik’ Washington
Fight Toxic Prisons–correspondent

On July 22nd, 2020 United States Penitentiary Pollock received an in-coming transfer bus of prisoners from facilities in the South Central Region.  This region which happens to include federal prisons in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas has been plagued with an increase of Covid-19 cases.   A prisoner who was received here at USP Pollock tested positive for Covid-19.  Prior to the positive test the prisoner had been in a holding cell with at least 10(ten) other prisoners who have been quarantined on Unit B-3 here at USP Pollock.   B-3 is the Unit which the Administration has assigned for the housing of Prisoners releasing to the Public and prisoners who are preparing to be transferred to other facilities.   At this time it is unknown whether or not the infected prisoner has infected any other staff members or prisoner.   Covid-19 has proven to be extremely contagious especially in the congregant settings of Prisons and Jails.

As of July 20th, 2020–3,861 Federal prisoners in B.O.P. and private prisons have been infected by the Corona Virus.  Approximately 320 Staff have been diagnosed with the Corona Virus.   99 B.O.P. facilities and 6 private prisons as well as 46 Federal Half-Way houses have been infected with Corona Virus.   These are record setting statistics that have been reported via the LISA Federal Prison Newsletter that I receive weekly.   LISA reports that 101 Federal Prisoners have died of Covid-19. The most recent deaths have been at FMC Carswell and FCI Seagoville both located in the Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas area.
The LISA News-Letter is Edited by Thomas L. Root  M.A.,   J.D.  it is very important that we give Mr. Root the credit for publishing this excellent news source for Federal Prisons so that we can collect timely and accurate information regarding the conditions inside these Federal Prisons.  I request that this update is posted and shared far and wide via Social Media and any other Media Platforms.   My Name is Keith ‘Malik’ Washington I am scheduled to be released on September 3rd, 2020 please advocate for my immediate release so that I can return to Free Society Healthy and Safe!!!   Let us continue to advocate for the immediate release of all Elderly and Vulnerable Prisoners in Federal and State Prisons as well as Jails and Detention Centers all across the United States of Amerika and Europe!!

Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win,  All Power to the People!!  



Re-opening Schools disproportionately impacts Single Black Moms.

by Keith ‘Malik’ Washington
Assistant Editor San Francisco Bay View-National Black Newspaper

A friend from Sacramento, California recently asked me about my thoughts on whether schools should re-open.

In the midst of the Corona Virus Pandemic, I firmly believe that we must lean toward science and empirical data when making the decision to re-open schools.

There should be a different decision depending on the geographical area you live in.  The concrete conditions on the ground should dictate our response.

Betsy DeVos who is the current Secretary of Education in Washington D.C. is in ‘Lock-Step’ with the U.S. President Donald J. Trump on the school issue.  The economy and this entire ‘Get Back to Work Now’ strategy has been put before the health, safety, and welfare of our children, our teachers, and our most vulnerable family members.
In regard to re-opening schools in the United States, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution.  We will have to remain flexible and create innovative ways to teach our children.

Personally, I like the model which sets forth a combination of virtual learning coupled with in school learning.  Covid-19 testing must be a part of our re-opening strategy.  

However, I have a friend in the Sacramento area who works in the field of education.  They raised a good point:
Communities of color are being disproportionately impacted by Covid-19, so how do we adjust our response so all children benefit and are reintergrated into the re-opening process?

Making Wi-Fi available to communities of color and ensuring that all children have Tablets and Lap Tops is a step in the right direction.

However, I have another issue that I’d like all of you to consider.  Sisters and brothers today is July 27th, 2020.  Many people do not know if the U.S. Senate or the White House is going to extend the extra $600 that has been included in U.S. citizens’ Un-employment checks.  

Without this added $600 hundreds of thousands perhaps millions of Americans will be evicted from their homes and apartments.  Mass evictions are a reality.

The number one demographic group that will be vulnerable from being effected by these mass evictions are lower black single moms.   Yes, black single moms, are one of the most vulnerable groups in the United States.

Who in the Trump Administration has a vested interest in ensuring that single black mothers survive this Pandemic?
I want to know if Val Demings, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Kamala Harris, Stacy Abrams or Elizabeth Warren can hear my voice?

Before we tackle the issue of re-opening schools we have to make absolutely sure our children and our moms have a roof over their heads.   This issue of re-opening schools is much more complex than it appears.

Before I end this piece, I want to remind all of you that in order to make it through this pandemic successfully we must have principled leadership in Washington D.C., leaders who have a heart and mind for the people.  We don’t have that right now.

Some of my friends, allies, and supporters may say:  “Malik we do not need more leaders or Masters in Washington D.C.
My response is this:  I agree that the current system has failed us.  Nevertheless, in order to address these failures I have a very serious question that I’d like all of you to reflect upon:  “Will you open your home or your apartment to a single mom with children?”

There is going to have to be a paradigm shift in how we visualize our new society.  This question that I have posed is going to have to be on many peoples’ hearts and minds.   Soon there will be an explosion of homeless people on the streets of America.  If this G.O.P. led U.S. Senate doesn’ act intelligently there could be dire consequences.  Austerity is not the answer compassion and empathy is. 

Dare to struggle, Dare to win, All Power to the People.


Urgent COVID-19 Update: Will Prisoner Lives Ever Matter to the Oppressors?

By Keith “Malik” Washington
Fight Toxic Prisons – correspondent

“…through indifference or incompetence the B.O.P. is endangering the lives of individuals entrusted to its care by failing to establish consistent and effective safeguards to protect them from coronavirus.” 

– LISA Newsletter, July 6th 2020

Edited by Thomas L. Root M.A., J.D.

Roger Stone, who happens to be a friend of U.S. President Donald J. Trump, said that a three year federal prison sentence would be a virtual death sentence for a 67 year old like him. President Trump commuted the sentence for his friend so he would not be subjected to the Federal Death Traps operated by the Bureau of Prisons.

I think by now that most of us who embrace Abolitionist Politics realize that no amount of moral shaming nor exposure is going to convince the oppressors in Amerika to release vulnerable prisoners who are poor and who are not rich, white, and connected.

As the coronavirus pandemic rages out of control every facet of the criminal justice system wages an all out war on Black and Brown Lives.

On July 10th, 2020 we saw a record-breaking 65,000 new cases of COVID-19 in the United Snakes of Amerika.

Texas, along with Arizona and Florida, is one of the major hotspots which is driving this surge in positive cases of this deadly virus. In regard to the prison population in Texas, Michael Barajas of the Texas Observer reports the following: “As of early June 2020, about 7,000 people incarcerated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice and nearly 1,000 prison employees have tested positive for COVID-19. At least 42 inmates and 7 prison staff have died from the virus. Even as those numbers rise, Governor Greg Abbott – and the parole board he appointed – has largely ignored calls to release people who have already made parole.”

I personally made parole last year in Texas and as I prepare to release to a Federal Half-way House in the State of California (Sept. 2020) state officials in Texas have been holding up and delaying my parole transfer request!

Before I requested to be transferred to San Francisco, California I was slated to release to Houston, Texas. The city of Houston is located in Harris County. Harris County has been experiencing one of the worst surges of coronavirus in the nation. Although the B.O.P. and TDCJ are well aware of this I find myself struggling to convince prison officials to expedite both my release and transfer. Obviously prisoner lives don’t matter – but there’s more!!

COVID-19 is now present in over 84 federal prisons. There have been nearly 100 prisoner deaths and those numbers are liable to increase due to a recent spike in confirmed cases throughout the United States.

One of the most disheartening and discouraging pieces of news to come out of the U.S. Supreme Court is the decision by U.S. Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor to block the emergency release of federal prisoners housed at the Federal Correctional Institution at Elkton in Ohio.

Of all the U.S. Supreme Court justices who currently sit on the U.S. Supreme Court, I would have never have dreamed in my wildest dreams that only Sotomayor would ignore the humanity of low security prisoners who are vulnerable to contracting the deadly coronavirus. The next time someone tries to tell you how “good” liberal judges are, think again! The entire system is bereft of compassion or empathy. 

In comparison to F.C.I. Elkton in Ohio, we have federal prisoners at F.C.I. Oakdale in Louisiana who have attempted to plead for similar emergency relief as the prisoners in Elkton.

What is remarkable is the number of deaths. At FCI Oakdale there have been approximately 28 deaths of prisoners. There have been approximately 10 deaths at F.C.I. Elkton.

In both of these cases the Federal B.O.P. has fought aggressively to keep prisoners inside these death traps. However, with a phone call and a stroke of his powerful pen, U.S. President Donald Trump protected his personal friend Roger Stone from the threat posed by the coronavirus.

Every group in Amerika needs a representative who speaks out and fights hard for their interests. I represent the elderly, infirm, poor, and vulnerable federal and state prisoners in Amerika who have been left to suffer and die inside these slave kamps and gulags.

I am not angry that Roger Stone did not go to prison. I am angry that the system promotes, sanctions, and condones these stark inequalities in the application of justice in Amerika.

Nevertheless, we must join together in order to shed a discerning light on these ongoing injustices as well as the abuse of political power.

I stand in solidarity with the campaign to Fight Toxic Prisons as well as many other autonomous organizations that seek to dismantle and abolish these systems of oppression which represent the horrible Amerikan legacy of slavery.

Let us struggle together to abolish all forms of slavery and lets fight to free ALL prisoners by any means necessary!!!

Dare to Struggle, Dare to Win, All Power to the People!

Note: Please support and promote Malik’s re-entry fundraiser, he is scheduled to be released in September 2020. Visit the GoFundMe link: https://gf.me/u/ydbirm. Thank you for helping our comrade.


Comrade Malik Speaks: It is not Panic Talk it is Big Facts!!!

Nearly 140,000 deaths Nationally.  Dallas, Texas experiences record breaking Deaths.  The Oklahoma Governor has Covid-19. The Louisiana Attorney General has Covid-19.  Another record breaking day on Covid-19 cases–77,000!!  Hospitals are being over-run.  Governor Greg Abbott tries to insinuate that this is Panic Talk.   No!!  This is not Panic Talk these are Big Facts Sisters and brothers it is time to separate Fact from Fiction.   We must collectively come together and protect human lives.  Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms cares about the Lives of Atlanta citizens.   Governor Brian Kemp is playing politics!!!   It is time for righteous human beings to stand up to these bullies and save the Lives of the most vulnerable.   Sometimes more is less!!   It is time for some action


Twelve Years a Slave in Texas!

by Keith ‘Malik’ Washington

Toxic death flowin out of the prison’s water spigots.
Beat down and abused by Racist Bigots.
Confederate Grey Uniforms they wear.
Open Pride for White Supremacy on display and laid bare.

I remember all the hate campaigns launched against me.
Too much pain, sleepless nights, my mind not at ease.
The Creator of the Universe heard my pleas.
But what will become of the comrades left behind?
From my desk at the Bay view—Whom will I SAVE?
Twelve long years in Texas.
In Trump’s New Amerikkka am I still considered a Slave?

I Organized Prison work strikes—-asked for help—little came.
Long Term Solitary confinement was the punishment.
Next door neighbor committed suicide–Driven insane!!

In Huntsville they have the gurney and the needle.
Poison forced into our veins.
Senator Joan Huffman hid the identity of the pharmaceutical corporations,
Senator John Whitmire clandestinely down with the games!
Twelve years a Slave in Texas.
Oh, y’all thought I forgot your names??

In Texas the Warden conspires against you.
The prison guard carries out the Task.
Ligature marks on our wrists and necks.
AG Ken Paxton has no questions to ASK?—COMPLICIT!!!

Governor Gregg Abbott attacked the Panthers.
Comrade Rashid and I Resisted.
Texas contacted the Fusion Center and they gladly
aided and Assisted.
Anarchists and Socialists came to our aid.
Twelve years in Texas and still a god-damn Slave!

There is a debt that must be Paid.
Prison Slave Laborers buried at Central Unit in Mass Graves.
Broken Backs, Whips and Chains.

Today in 2020 Happy Slaves in Texas still work for Free!
Gettin pimped and exploited under the church steeple.
I tried my best to wake them up and transform them all into

Snitches and Rats informed on me.
The Police poisoned my food.
All this and more for striving for righteousness and
fighting for the greater good.

Branded a Black Militant and extremist.
Everyday I was facing hate.
It is I your Comrade–Brother Malik.

Twelve years a slave in Texas.
No more tears only laughter.
Gettin ready for the next Chapter.
Freedom is Sweet and Love is Pure—NUBE.
They did their damndest to break me baby but
with mutual aid and solidarity I was able to endure.
The Covid-19 Pandemic has the future looking so unsure.

Twelve years a Slave in Texas.
A Living Testimony, here I STAND.
Here to show the world that even the people society
throws away, have the power and strength to HEAL OUR LAND!

Twelve years a Slave in Texas.
It is now time for all of us to unify and organize in order to set


Will Texas Governor Greg Abbott choose to save Lives or Save Face?

by Keith ‘Malik’ Washington
Assistant Editor
San Francisco Bay View–National Black Newspaper

US Vice President Mike Pence and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott arrive at a press conference on the coronavirus at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas on June 28, 2020. – Photo: Juan Figueroa, Dallas Morning News

Texas governor Greg Abbott like many republican governors across the United States followed the lead of the U.S. President Donald J. Trump and pushed to re-open states before the science revealed that it was time to do so.
In approximately 4 1/2 months the Corona Virus has killed over 136,000 human beings here in the United States.
The state of Texas rushed to open and now large urban centers such as Houston, Austin, and San Antonio as well as small cities such as Corpus Christie are facing an apocalyptic health care crisis.
This is a defining moment for Greg Abbott.  The question presents itself; ‘Will governor Abbott choose to save lives or will he ignore the empirical data and the science and choose to save face?’.  I ask this question:  “Will Greg Abbott distance himself from the poor leadership of Donald J. Trump and make decisions that will save the lives of ALL Texas Citizens?
The state of Texas is the home of some of the best colleges and universities in the United States.  Texas also has some of the most prestigious and advanced hospitals in the world.  However, allow me to present some remarkable historical information.
In 2015 the University of Texas at Austin–Human Rights Clinic headed by Professor Ariel Dulitzky presented a scientific and empirical analysis within the body of a report which clearly showed that deadly extreme heat and deliberate indifference by Texas State Prison Officials as well as members of the University of Texas Medical Branch contributed to the deaths of prisoners housed in facilities operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.  The argument put forth could easily convince a group of intelligent human beings to install air conditioning inside all Texas Prisons in order to save prisoner lives.  Deadly heat still poses a serious risk to the health and the lives of Texas prisoners and this is only exacerbated more by the current Corona Virus pandemic.
At the time in 2015 the state of Texas was fighting a lawsuit brought by four Texas prisoners who were seeking the installation of air conditioning at the Wallace Pack Unit located in Navasota, Texas.  It is note-worthy to mention that the Wallace Pack Unit houses a large number of elderly and infirm prisoners who are vulnerable to extreme heat and of contracting the Corona Virus. (The Wallace Pack Unit now has Air-conditioning thanks to these fearless prisoners)
In 2015, in response to the report by the University of Texas at Austin–Human Rights Clinic the Texas governor’s office retaliated.  I am very familiar with this situation because I was one of the people who was the victim of the state’s retaliatory response.  The Texas governor’s office threatened the chancellor of the University of Texas at Austin and told him that the State of Texas did not want University of Texas professors, lawyers or college students helping Texas prisoners.
Even though the state of Texas had created deadly conditions inside its prisons–deadly conditions which still exist in most of Texas’ prisons to this very day.   The ‘Company Line’ was to retaliate rather than take decisive and humane actions that would have improved the quality of life and actually saved the lives of wards of the State.
Like Donald J. Trump–governor Greg Abbott has established a clear pattern of conduct by which he attacks those who present or expose information which shines a negative light on the states inhumane practices.  At this moment in time I ask the citizens of Texas as well as Texas Legislators and responsible members of the Media and our Activist Community to urge Greg Abbott to set aside his allegiance to the Republican Party and make the ‘hard’ decisions that will save many lives:
*Order the Shut Down of all Cities where Covid19 is spreading
*Increase Testing, Isolation, and Contact Tracing immediately and focus energy on our most vulnerable communities—Communities of color
If Texas governor Greg Abbott wants to fulfill his duty to serve and protect ALL Texas citizens he must rise to the occasion and LEAD in his own way and ignore the false narratives and faulty leadership emanating from Trump’s White House.

Dare to Struggle, Dare to win, All Power to the People!!!



Originally published: http://whyaminotsurprised.blogspot.com/2020/07/call-for-immediate-action.html

A couple of months ago, David Sumera (#37063-034), who is from Louisiana, but serving in the federal system, had a Gran Mal seizure which left him paralyzed from the waist down. He shouldn’t even be here! They don’t have the facilities in place nor the staff to offer him adequate medical care. Recently, staff have not been giving him the opportunity to shower and clean himself so he is left sitting and laying in his urine and excrement.
On July 4th, David requested to be placed in the shower. His cellmate, Jason Lee, who is also from Louisiana, helped him get in the shower. On or about 5 p.m., David had a seizure. During and after the seizure, numerous officers and prisoners were eye witnesses to a Lieutenant Rene (White, male) saying to David (and I quote): “I hope he fuckin’ dies.” And he kicked him in the ribs.
I will write a grievance tonight, but please — as soon as possible — organize a Phone Zap to call Warden Chris McConnell at 318-765-3119 demanding that David Sumera be moved immediately to an appropriate facility where he can and will be given the medical attention and on-going care he needs.

As we know, federal and state prison systems have suspended visiting “privileges” using the COVID-19 pandemic as the excuse. This makes it even more important for us to act quickly and powerfully to hold administrations and staff accountable for the safety and care of those in their custody. Please act now.


Clear Out U.S. Senate in November 2020!!

by Keith ‘Malik’ Washington

The republican led U.S. Senate obstructed the investigation into the dealings of Donald J. Trump. Specifically, it was Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell that orchestrated the obstruction of justice during the Impeachment Process.

Now in July 2020 the Republican Party refuses to address the FACT that police in Amerika continue to murder un-armed Black people and people of color on Amerikan streets. Make no mistake about it, we are living in a Historical time and the Republicans have staked out their position and made their intentions clear. The Grand Old Party will Not protect nor will they Respect Black Lives. In November 2020 let us collectively send them a Clear Message!!!

Dare to struggle, Dare to Win, All Power to the People!!


We are Far From Being Clueless!!

by Keith ‘Malik’ Washington
Assistant editor San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper

On July 4th, 2020, U.S. President Donald J. Trump made the false accusation that Anarchists, Marxists, Black Lives Matter Activists and others who fight for social justice causes and Racial Equality in Amerika are Clueless. I now speak directly to President Trump and his bigoted buddy Steven Miller.

When your hate speech motivated a white man to murder innocent worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. WE WERE NOT CLUELESS!!

When you ordered ICE and the Department of Homeland Security to hunt down undocumented workers like they were dogs, when you caged their children and destroyed our families: WE WERE NOT CLUELESS!

When you launched a Nation-wide hate campaign against the LGBTQ community and when our Transgender Sisters of Color were murdered in the streets. WE WERE NOT CLUELESS!

When you ordered U.S. soldiers to attack peaceful protesters so you could pontificate and pander to your base. WE WERE NOT CLUELESS!!

And when you continued to ignore the humanity of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Elijah McClain–when you lied about this deadly pandemic which is ravaging our people; WE CERTAINLY WERE NOT CLUELESS!