Today, Vincent Gutierrez is set to be executed and tomorrow Roy Pippen has an execution date scheduled. We have several other issues to address so I do believe today will be an interesting day. It’s early in the morning and things are just getting started; I’m about to go to the shower in a few minutes…
8:30 AM: I just got back from the shower. Policy states that each offender shall be issued a mattress. Lizard was in his cell all day yesterday, all night, and this morning without a mattress. The rules state that each offender shall be issued a specific amount of property in accordance to TDCJ-CID property policy. Lizard doesn’t have any property in his cell. The precious rules also state that offenders should be housed in livable cells. The water in Lizard’s cell doesn’t work. So, I attempted to follow policy even though staff were blatantly disregarding their own policy—
I verbally requested to speak to a ranking supervisor as I was walking to the shower. I explained that myself, Lizard, and others had been trying to speak to a supervisor and resolve the problems all night with no luck. I went into the shower, bathed, and prepared to follow in the steps of Polunsky Unit staff members and disregard policy as well. I was handcuffed, I stepped out of the shower, and as soon as I came to the crossover doors between the two sections, I occupied the area and refused to move. I explained to the officers that I decided yesterday to start following policy, but today, since staff members willfully chose to blatantly break the magnificent and precious “rules”, I was going to do the same. I told them that I wasn’t trying to cause any excessive problems but I wasn’t going to allow Lizard to be held in severely inhumane conditions. DW was in the shower and he refused to come out as well. Amun hollered at me and told me that Reg had occupied the shower in the other section also. One of the officers began talking to the CO in the observation picket and then he told me that he informed the Sgt. of the situation and it was in the process of being taken care of. The other CO told me that Lizard would be given his property today, given a mattress, and moved to a decent cell, but nothing was going to happen until I was back in my cell. Very well, I decided to begin following the rules once again since the staff members seemed to be doing so. (Note: later that night, Lizard was moved and given a mattress and his property). I voluntarily went back to my cell and so did DW. Reg still had the shower occupied though…
8:54 AM: Reg is still in the shower. We’re waiting for the Riot Team to arrive.
9:13 AM: He’s still in the shower on D section. I’m over in F section but I’d be able to tell if the Team came on the pod. They haven’t.
9:26 AM: Amun just hollered at me and let me know that Omari (Reg) will need some assistance since staff is breaking policy and simply leaving him in the shower. Cool. I know what to do. Hold up. I’m about to get ready. When they come to feed lunch, I’m going to occupy the food slot. Then ranking officers will be forced to come on the pod…
9:39 AM: I’m ready with all of my battle gear in case I need to get gassed.
9:57 AM: Reg is still in the shower.
10:00 AM: The Sgt. and more officers just went over to D section
10:10 AM: Amun just hollered at me and told me to “squash that”, meaning that I no longer need to occupy the slot.
10:15 AM: Still no Team.
10:20 AM: Amun hollered again just let me know yes, indeed, I do need to occupy the slot after all. Alright. I can see that I may need to get gassed today since staff want to play little oppressive games. I’m about to suit all the way up and get ready…
10:32 AM: I’m suited up and ready for whatever. The COs have fed all sections but F section and I don’t know exactly what they’re doing.
10:36 AM: It looks like they’re about to feed over here!
10:47 AM: The food slot is mine! I’m sitting here writing on the floor with my arm out of the slot. A few minutes ago I occupied the food slot right after I got my lunch tray. Ms. Maddox tried a little divide-and-conquer maneuver which was actually kinda “cute”. She has never worked the disciplinary pod before—the only time she comes on the pod is to “break out” officers who are going on break. So, Ms. Maddox doesn’t know how we do things down here; this isn’t the wretched land of complacency and indoctrination, this isn’t Level I. Right after I occupied the slot, Ms. Maddox burst out with “Well, now no one else is going to eat since you have the slot jacked!”, as if her grand declaration was going to make me cower and retreat from the slot to my bunk, to sit down and whimper silently to myself as other inmates chastised me for my bad behavior. My neighbors laughed in the face of the obvious divide-and-conquer tactic: “We don’t give a damn if he keeps the slot all damn day!” Solidarity is lovely. Seeing that I wasn’t budging, the COs left the section.
It’s 11:04 AM and all of the officers are in the picket. No movement is going on. This is strange.
11:41 AM: I’m still at this damn slot. One of the COs just told me that an emergency major lockdown was called and the COs were ordered not to move from the picket.
11:52 AM: Still no movement. This feels strange. We’ve essentially occupied the entire pod because the administration has ordered no movement on the pod. It’s almost noon so they’ll be taking “Flaco” (Vincent Gutierrez) off to slaughter soon.
12:17 PM: I can’t believe they’re just leaving us like this, two major disruptions left unattended to. I just hollered over at Reg and he told me that he’s going to conduct a sit-in and occupy the run, then make the ER Team carry him back to his cell; so, there’s no need for me to keep the slot occupied. Alright, hold up. I’m about to pull the food slot up myself. OK, cool. Let’s wait and see what will happen…
12:26 PM: The ER Team is right outside the entrance to the pod.
12:30 PM: The Team is going over to D section accompanied by a Gestapo-like gang of officers including Major Nelson and Captain Bailey. I’m listening to comrade Omari give a protest speech. He’s speaking on the executions scheduled for today and tomorrow and other things. OK, I heard his cell door close. All the officers and Team just left the pod. Occupying the slot for that length of time was rather strenuous, so I’m about to kick back and chill for a little while and get some rest.