ANTHONY WILLIAMS AY­6759

by Julian Heicklen

1. Story of Anthony Williams AY­6759

On November 22, 1995, at approximately 9:00 PM while housed on B/A cell block in general population, Mr. Williams was in his cell doing some legal work. At this time, the actions of Captain T. Crump, Lt. Richard Bell, Lt. Kingston, Lt. Fisher, Sergeant Williams, Sergeant Minardo, Correctional Officers (COs) Kennedy, Jenkins, Howells, and Schmolke all violated state law of assault and battery and federal law of excessive force, cruel and unusual punishment. They were assembled and clothed in riot gear with harmful intent and did viciously beat inmate Williams with their hands, shoes, night sticks, and sprayed tear gas mace, pepper gas after first subduing inmate Williams and forcing him to the floor by 3-4 COs who ran into his cell. They used night sticks and body weight to beat Inmate Williams while he was on the floor in iron-restraining handcuffs behind his back and iron leg shackles, unprotected and offering no resistance.

Inmate Williams argues that this action deprived him of liberty without due process of law. After the beating he was denied medical treatment. He received a Misconduct Report 812082 for refusing an order. Staff witnesses to the beating were Sergeant. Jones and CO Lewis. Inmate witnesses were Anthony Bennett BP­8943, Pattis Bailey AJ­1766 (since released from prison), Jason Smith CG­6226, Lafayette Cathey CS­3636, Tomi Lewis DD­7256, and John Owens (number unknown).

Inmate Williams wrote a letter dated November 25, 1998, to David Pollock in the District Attorney's Office of Greene County. He filed a criminal complaint against correctional officers for assault, reckless endangerment, and use of excessive force. It was filed against Captain T. Crump, Lt. Richard Bell, Lt. Kingston, Lt. Fisher, Sergeant Williams, Sergeant Minardo, COs Kennedy, Jenkins, Howells, and Schmolke. According to inmate Williams, at 9:00 PM on November 22, 1995, Lt. Bell ordered Williams for no reason to come out of his cell with his hands out to be handcuffed and taken to the Restricted Housing Unit (RHU). Inmate Williams claimed that he had not committed any misconduct nor had violated any prison rules to warrant a riot squad. Inmate Williams was thrown to the floor and beaten with nightsticks, fists, sprayed with chemicals, and viciously beaten by guards for no justification while in handcuffs and leg shackles. He offered no resistance.

2. Misconduct Reports from Two Correctional Officers

Misconduct Report 812082 dated November 22, 1995, was filed by CO Bell against Inmate Williams. Other staff involved were Sgt. Williams, Sgt. Morales, CO I Kennedy, CO I Jenkins, CO I Schmolke, and CO I Howells. CO Bell states that at 21:10 hours on November 22, 1995, he was the supervisor of an extraction team to move Inmate Williams from B/A­22 to the RHU. He ordered Inmate Williams to come to the cell door and be handcuffed and escorted to RHU. Inmate Williams refused this order and 4-5 subsequent orders. The cell extraction team was then activated to remove Inmate Williams from his cell. The team used Ebid Shield, Handheld Ebid, and physical force to remove Williams, who then was escorted to medical to be checked and photographed. After that, Inmate Williams was taken to RHU, strip searched, and put in cell FC­06. Inmate was placed in pre-hearing until seen by hearing examiner.

Misconduct Report 813319 dated November 30, 1995, filed by CO II Williams against Anthony Williams. Incident happened at 21:10 hours on November 22, 1995, in FC-6 Quarters, B-Block A-side 22 cell. The charge was a Class I Cat #1.A: Assault including any aggressive physical contact with a potential for injury towards an employee. CO Williams was the shield man on the cell extraction team. He entered the cell first. Inmate Williams was standing to the rear of the cell with a typewriter and extension cord in his hand. As CO Williams moved forward, Inmate Williams threw the typewriter towards him in an aggressive manner attempting to strike him in the head area. The typewriter was blocked by CO Williams E. B. I. D. shield, and then Inmate Williams was subdued.

3. Eyewitness Account from Anthony Bennett BP­8943

Anthony Bennett BP­8943 was present on November 22, 1995, at 9:00 PM when Anthony Williams received a beating that Bennett will never forget. At 8:45 PM, all inmates began to lock up for the night. However on this night, the guards were in a real rush to get us in our cells. Mr. Bennett's cell was in direct view of that of Anthony Williams. As they were being locked down, Bennett saw Sgt. Jones talking to Inmate Williams. About 5­10 minutes after Jones left Mr. Williams' cell, the extraction unit comes into the cell block, which is B/A. With the extraction unit is Sgt. Williams, two lieutenants, and 2 nurses. They stop to talk to Sergeant Jones, who is the B/A block sergeant. Then with Sergeant Williams leading the extraction unit, it goes over to inmate Williams' cell. Sergeant Williams says something to Inmate Williams, which Mr. Bennett cannot hear. Then Sergeant Williams pulls the door open to Inmate Williams' cell. Sergeant Williams weighs more than 300 pounds and is over 6 feet tall. He has a shock shield in one hand and a wooden stick in the other hand. The extraction team is dressed all in black with shock shields and wooden sticks with helmets that cover their heads and faces.

Sergeant Williams is the first one into the cell. He is not dressed in black nor has he an extraction uniform. This is the reason Mr. Bennett can identify only Sergeant Williams. When Sergeant Williams rushes through the open door, Mr. Bennett hears a big crash (possibly the typewriter falling to the ground). Then the rest of the extraction team enters. This is when the screaming began from inmate Williams. Mr. Bennett heard loud banging noises. Bennett could not see into the cell, because there were over 7 people in the cell. When the screaming stopped, then the banging noises stopped about 20 seconds later. After about 3 minutes, the extraction unit came out of the cell carrying Inmate Williams by the chains that are around his ankles and wrists. His feet and arms are spread out wide. Blood is coming from his head as he is being carried out of the cell across the block. His body is not moving, and it looks as if he is dead. Sergeant Williams is walking behind the extraction team with a cloak over his face like he is proud of what he just did. Mr. Bennett says this, because Sergeant Williams smiled at the lieutenants and they were smiling at him. The nurses are walking behind Sergeant Williams looking as if they are going to cry and unsure what to do.

Mr. Bennett lost the view of them carrying Inmate Williams through the doors, but he saw them out of the back of his cell window again when they got Mr. Williams outside the B/A housing area. That is when Bennett saw them drop Inmate Williams to the ground face down. Mr. Bennett saw Sergeant Williams begin to kick and punch Inmate Williams. The rest of the extraction team joined in the beating. Mr. Bennett never saw inmate Williams even lift his head. Mr. Bennett was sure that the COs had killed Inmate Williams. After about 30 seconds, the COs lifted Inmate Williams by the chains and carried him away. Williams still was not moving. Mr. Bennett has not seen inmate Williams since that night.

Since the incident, the Department of Corrections (DOC) sent someone from Camp Hill to talk to Mr. Bennett about the incident. However, as of April 20, 1998, Mr. Bennett sees the same sergeant walking around the compound at the State Correctional Institution (SCI) in Greene County and hears about him involved in other beatings.

4. Official Actions

I do not have a copy of the Hearing Examiner's Report. Apparently Inmate Williams was found guilty of all charges and sentenced to 45 days in RHU. From Superintendent Price's letter below, it appears that Inmate Williams was denied the testimony of 3 inmate witnesses that he requested.

There is a Program Review Committee (PRC) Action 812082 of December 1, 1995, that sustains the 45 days Disciplinary Custody (DC) RHU given to Inmate Williams. The PRC Action is signed by Steve Gavorchik, Unit Manager. It stated: "You don't get warning for actions such as this. The Lt. had to activate cell extraction team to get you out of your cell. You deserve 45 days DC."

There is an inmate Grievance Response of December 6, 1995, from Captain James Hassett to Grievance GRN­1274­95 dated December 1, 1995. The Response stated that Captain Hassett met with Inmate Williams on December 5, 1995, to discuss the accusation of beating. Captain Hassett claims that Inmate Williams did not provide any evidence of witnesses. The only explanation provided was that you were paranoid, because you did not know what was going on. Captain Hassett says that he informed Inmate Williams that he would conduct an investigation. He also gave Inmate Williams the address of the PA State Police in Waynesburg and of the Greene County District Attorney, so that Williams could pursue legal claims. Captain Hassett said that he has reviewed the written reports, the VCR tape, and medical reports. He found no evidence to support Inmate Williams' claims. Rather his investigation uncovered that Inmate Williams refused to comply with lawful directions and orders. Grievance denied.

There is a letter from James S. Price, Superintendent of SCI Greene County, dated December 11, 1995, which is a response to Appeal of Misconduct Report 812082. It states that Inmate Williams' argument that he did not receive due process is unsubstantiated. "You waived the only proper witness that you requested. I agree with the Hearing Examiner's denial of all the inmates. Although you list three charges claiming all three should be established in the misconduct report, the misconduct lists only one and that charge was clearly established." Appeal denied.