Florida D.C.’s Dangerous Games With Free Speech USA

“He squeezed my throat and said, “you could have had a serious accident, but instead your being spared.  Don’t forget that.  You hear me?”

When the Sgt. let go of my throat, Cpt. Schrank said, “you really p-ssed off the wrong person.”

More testimony of violent assault, serious retaliation and attempted repression of free speech of the Rainey murder witness Harold Hempstead, by Florida Department of Corrections staff.

A few weeks before the night when he was awoken in the small hours, knocked around and transported to Tennessee – on the very same day the Rundle report was released – Harold Hempstead, the key-witness in the torture/murder of Darren Rainey, wrote a sworn affidavit about some of the retaliation he’s received from the Florida Department of Corrections. 

Here’s a brief account from Harold on the manner of his departure from Florida: 

“When I was being escorted from my cell to the front of Hardee C.I., Cpt. Schrank was telling Sgt. Hamilton (one of the 2 staff escorting me) that Hardee C.I. Warden Lamb was waken by Tallahassee just a few hours prior to 3.30am and told to over see my leaving Hardee C.I. to go to RMC.  Hardee C.I. records will show that Travis Lamb got to the compound after midnight to over see my leaving Hardee C.I. When we got to the main control area another Sgt. working Main Control told Cpt. Schrank that Warden Lamb just dropped off my Classification and Medical Records.

While in front of the Main Control area, Cpt.Schrank told Sgt. Hamilton “Serg. It’s on you.”  Sgt. Hamilton then slapped me with an open hand.  Ofc. Cabrara helped me back up, as he was saying “Get up Hempstead”  Ofc. Cabrara then held me from behind by both my arms, as Sgt. Hamilton grabbed my throat.  He squeezed my throat and said, “you could have had a serious accident, but instead your being spared.  Don’t forget that.  You hear me?”

When the Sgt. let go of my throat, Cpt. Schrank said, “you really p-ssed off the wrong person.  Think about what he said and think about it hard.”  This was the only incident I had where a staff physically battered me, and it happened obviously as a result of my sworn affidavits and letter to Miguel that I previously mentioned, and it happened on the day I was Interstate-Compacted.  When Ofc. Cabrara let me go he punched me in my lower back. 

I was told prior to leaving my cell at 3.30am to go up to the front of Hardee C.I. by Cpt. Schrank, that my property would be thrown in the trash.

On 3/21/17 I filed 5 grievances here on everything that happened on 3/17/17 , and on 3/22/17 I filed another grievance addressing the events that happened on 3/17/17.”

The following document speaks for itself, so I won’t say too much about it.  One thing that does seem hugely significant however, is that FDC seem to be implying that they could not adequately protect Harold Hempstead in General Population in any prison in Florida, allegedly due to his high-profile status as a witness to official wrong-doing – he’s publicly accused guards of murder and torture, as well as exposing many other extremely serious matters.    This makes a mockery of FDC Secretary Julie Jones’ recent memo to the entire department stating that there was a ‘zero-tolerance’ policy towards retaliation of any kind.  The fact that FDC cannot protect Harold Hempstead surely proves that it is failing to do the job it exists for – to safely and legally contain those sentenced to be held in state-custody.  You see, it’s not protection from other inmates that Julie Jones’ department said Harold needed – but rather protection from those sworn to uphold the law and the constitution, namely the staff of the Florida Department of Corrections.


To:  Federal Bureau of Investigations, Attn:  James Killpatrick, 3725 South East 14th Court, Homestead, Florida 33035.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Attn:  Commissioner Rick Swearingen, P.O. Box 1489,  Tallahassee, Florida 32302.

James Cook, Attorney at Law, P.O. Box 10021, Tallahassee, Florida 33302.

Miami Herald Newspaper, Attn:  Julie Brown, 3511 Northwest 91st Avenue, Miami, Florida 33172.

Immediately following the May 18 and 19, 2014 Miami Herald news articles on the murder of Darren Rainey and other matters at Dade Correctional Institution (Dade C.I.) I was placed on Protective Management (PM) status based on Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) staff contending I had statewide protection issues with FDC staff (especially from Dade County) as a result of my link to the high profile investigations into the murder of Darren Rainey and the torturing of mentally disabled inmates at Dade C.I.

Around the beginning of March 2016 till May 25, 2016, the Martin C.I. administration (i.e. Elizabeth Mallard, Mr Parrish, Mr Swineberg, Colonel Reid, and Ms Posten) subjected me to numerous forms of retaliation after they discovered I was communicating with the media, Civil Rights groups, etc. about the unconstitutional conditions of FDC PM units.  I reported this retaliation to the FDC Inspector General’s office in 16 calls that I made via the prison TIP line.  The following mailbox numbers were assigned to these calls:  calls made on 5/8/16: 971527, 127485, 316384, 188725, 812239 (this last number might be off by one number.  It’s one of the 5 calls I made on 5/8/16.)  Calls made on 5/15/16:  168806, 593692, 829299, 144286.  Call made on 5/23/16: 611038.  FDC procedure says these calls have to be saved for one year.

In addition to the above, I mailed letters and sworn affidavits to the Governor’s Chief Inspector General’s office, Melinda Miguel, that her office received on the following dates:  March 7, 30, 2016;  April 29, 2016;  and May 23, 24, 25 2016.  These letters and affidavits were given the following case number:  201512140002.  The following case numbers might also be helpful:  201511120004 and 201412110006 (letters received on November 12, 2015;  December 1, 15, 2015;  January 5, 2016;  February 16, 23, 2016.

Martin C.I. staff’s retaliatory actions they took against me to have me physically harmed because of me asserting my First Amendment Right to Freedom of Speech in communicating with the media, civil rights groups, etc. about the unconstitutional conditions of FDC PM units violated my First Amendment Rights.  The FDC Inspector General’s Office’s failure to investigate my prison TIP calls and letters I mailed to the Chief Inspector General’s  Office and that her office forwarded to the FDC Inspector General’s Office violated the statutory duties of FDC Inspector General’s Office as clearly set forth in Florida Statute : 944.31.  Several Miami Herald news articles published between May 2014, and the date listed below talk about the failure of the FDC Inspector General’s Office to conduct investigations into issues that happened in FDC.  The FDC Inspector General’s Office under the leadership of Lester Fernandez is following in the shoes of his predecessor in not following the duties that his office is obligated to follow under Florida Statute : 944.31.  Also, FDC Region 4 Director Thomas Reid failed to comply with Governor Rick Scott’s May 8, 2015 Executive Order (Number 15 – 102) which states in Section 1.3 “each Director must ensure that each Correctional Facility in the Director’s assigned region maintains a retaliatory free environment, both for staff and inmates.”

On May 24, 2016 I was placed in Administrative Confinement pending a PM investigation.  Originally I was told this was because somebody called Martin C.I Warden Mallard and the FDC Main Office and said staff and inmates were involved with a plot to kill me.  FDC told people in society almost the same thing as they told me.  In the months to follow, FDC staff switched their statement 2 to 3 times concerning why I was placed in Administrative Confinement on May 24, 2016.  I was placed under this investigation prior to being formally released from PM back to General Population.

On May 25, 2016 I was transferred by van from Martin C.I. to Okeechobee C.I.  My sister and I were later told by Thomas Reid that he directed I go by van directly to Okeechobee C.I. and not through South Florida Reception Centre, because of my sister’s May 2016 emails to the FBI, and because he knew my life would be in danger in Miami at SFRC.  It should be noted that for the 23 months I was on PM, FDC continued to say I had serious protection issues with FDC staff who knew me from Dade C.I., and Thomas Reid and Stephen Parker directed that the first institution I transfer to after being released from PM, was an institution that had 3 former Dade C.I. staff working at it that knew me from Dade C.I. (i.e. Warden Lars Severson, Ofc. Cooper, and Ms. Hall) and the wife of Dade C.I. Colonel Royce Marlow who I worked for as an orderly in the Dade C.I. TCU, and who was the Colonel at Dade C.I. the 6 months that the shower was being used as a torturing devise and on the night Darren Rainey was murdered in the shower.  Lars Severson, Ms. Hall, and Colonel Marlow all worked inside of the Dade C.I.TCU.

From May 25, 2016 till December 21, 2016, several attempts were made by Okeechobee C.I. staff to have me killed.  They made several attempts to label me as a snitch with the inmates at Okeechobee C.I. knowing that in most situations an inmate could be killed if he’s labelled as a snitch.  The only thing that prevented me from being killed was that a large quantity of the inmate population at Okeechobee C.I. was aware that staff had bad feelings toward me because of my documented prior communications with the media, civil rights groups, etc. about the murder of Darren Rainey and numerous other forms of misconduct by FDC staff.  The inmates that knew my past knew that FDC staff were falsely labelling me and they advised the other inmates on the compound of their belief.

In July 2016, I met with 2 men that said they were with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.   They said they were investigating an allegation made to crime stoppers concerning a plot to kill me at Martin C.I. involving staff and inmates.

Between August 2016 and December 2016, I met with Okeechobee C.I. Warden Lars Severson several times.  In 3 of our meetings we discussed him receiving information from somebody he wouldn’t identify alleging that somebody had made several calls to the “Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers (1-800-273-8477)”  alleging that there was a plot to kill me involving Okeechobee C.I. staff, and that FDC staff were involved with destroying and altering paperwork relating to plots to allegedly kill me at Martin C.I. and Okeechobee C.I.  In one of these meetings I was able to write the above 800 number and these 2 crime stopper case numbers down when he stepped out of the office for a minute:  Case numbers 104-65509 and 104-65662.  The paperwork that Lars Severson was reading from alleged  that the FDC Inspector General’s Office was involved with the altering and destruction of documents relating to me.  Lars Severson asked me what I thought about the calls and who did I think was behind it.  He further told me that as long as I’m at Okeechobee C.I., if I tell anybody in society about the calls he’d have to place me in confinement, because the calls named staff at Okeechobee C.I.  The paper I read when Lars Severson stepped out of the office named him, Cpt.Lankford, and Sgts. Sanders and Hunter.  Lars Severson didn’t tell me the names that the caller mentioned or that those mentioned were allegedly members of the Okeechobee  chapter of the Ku Klux Klan.  Lars Severson said he spoke with all his staff and he would ensure I’d be safe.  He said he believed an inmate made the calls.

On December 21, 2016 I was transferred from Okeechobee C.I. into Miami to SFRC.  In the less than a day I was there, I was labelled as a snitch by staff to an inmate and threatened to be killed if I didn’t stop talking about Dade C.I. and FDC.

While in transit at SFRC, CFRC, and upon my December 27, 2016 arrival to Hardee C.I. all the security staff present to some degree or another forced me to carry my approximately 5 boxes of property when I had a valid Medical Pass stating I’m not to lift anything over 15 pounds, nor was I to push or pull anything.  Staff forced me to lift said property when I was wearing a wrist support for my broken right wrist with cysts in it, and back-brace for my reduced cordis and back damage.  Now as a result of the foregoing my right leg and foot has been numb since around December 27, 2016.  Especially from my knee down, my right foot is about 75 percent numb.

Since my May 19, 2014 Transfer from Dade C.I. because of my link to the high profile investigations into the murder of Darren Rainey and the events that happened at Dade C.I., I’ve received 5 convicted killers as cellmates.  TJ was a meth and crack cocaine abuser in society who after being awake for days at a time would start stabbing and shooting people from hallucinations.  Eventually he killed a man and got placed in prison.  He was also a Satanist.  While housed with me he abused several drugs that made him stay awake for days at a time.  Medical and security had to remove him from my cell 2 times because he overdosed.  The next cellmate he had after I transferred from Columbia C.I. he stabbed in the eye with a pen and almost killed.  (i.e. JN.)  TS who was a convicted killer was addicted to spice which made him hallucinate and become violent.  FDC classification staff dismissed a disciplinary report he had for possession of spice so they could place him in a cell with me.  After Martin C.I. staff found-out that I had been communicating with the media, civil rights groups etc. about the conditions of FDC PM units they took me out of the cell I was housed in by myself and placed me in a cell with convicted killer RD (who was also in prison for sexual battery).  Following D, I was placed in a cell with JP who was a crack cocaine abuser in society who killed an older white lady in society and burned down her house.  Within a day of my December 27, 2016 arrival to Hardee C.I., I filed 3 informal grievances on housing issues prior to arrival to Hardee C.I.  On December 30, 2016 Hardee C.I. housing Sgt. Johnson called me to the property room to talk with her about my grievances.  One of the grievances I filed was on how I received 4 convicted killers as cellmates prior to my arrival to Hardee C.I.  Upon my arrival to Hardee C.I. I wasn’t given a cellmate.  Because New Year’s Day fell on Sunday FDC made New Year’s Day weekend to be from December 31, 2016 till January 2, 2017.  Accordingly, the next business working day that followed my December 30, 2016 conversation with Sgt. Johnson fell on January 3, 2017.  Sgt. Johnson, the next business working day after I spoke with her about receiving convicted killers as cellmates moved convicted killer TP into my cell.  A google search of the news articles on TP will reveal that he also has a history of abusing drugs that make him stay awake for days at a time and hallucinate.  I’m in prison for burglaries and dealing in stolen property.  None of the alleged victims were in their homes during the alleged commission of the burglaries.  My criminal case record will show that I’m convicted under a ringleader theory as a principal (Fla. Stat. : 777.011) and the legislative history of the organized dealing in stolen property charge I’m convicted under (Fla. Stat. : 812.019 (2)) will show my conviction is as a white collar criminal.  Also, FDC’s ‘Inmate Risk Management System / Sexual Risk Indicator’ (IRMS/SRI) system has me listed as an “identified prey” (IPY) and I have almost 8 years with no disciplinary reports in FDC.  In other words, FDC continues to house me with violent convicted drug using killers ever since I first started speaking with the media, civil rights groups, etc. about the Darren Rainey murder and other abuses by FDC staff.  The IRMS / SRI system and Fla. Stat. 944.012 (6) (B) prohibits the housing of violent inmates with non-violent inmates identified as preys.  FDC records will show that FDC has had a problem with cellmates killing and seriously harming their cellmates for many years now.

Since my December 27, 2016 arrival at Hardee C.I., I’ve discovered that a few staff at Hardee have a tendency to engage in retaliation against inmates who file grievances.  I was told that Sgt. Johnson has a history of doing such.  One of the things I was told Sgt. Johnson has a history of doing is placing the grievance filing inmate in a cell with an inmate she knows will not get along with him;  and that she has a practice of housing grievance filing inmates that she doesn’t like in C-dorm.  C-dorm houses the majority  of Hardee C.I.’s gang members.  A lot of them are also housed in B and D dorms.  By housing them in Hardee C.I.’s most violent dorms she knows they’ll eventually be hurt and possibly killed.

I’m requesting that the FBI and FDLE conduct investigations into these matters.


Under penalty of perjury, I swear that everything mentioned herein is true and correct.

Executed on this   day of January 2017.

Affiant:  (Signature of Harold Hempstead appears here on original manuscript)

Harold Hempstead, D.C.# 268866, 62-102 Lower, Hardee Correctional Institution, 6901 State Road 62, Bowling Green, Florida 33834

C.C.  Howard Simon (ACLU of Florida)

Steven Wetstein (Stop Prison Abuse Now)

Randal Berg (Florida Justice Institute)

Craig Patrick (WTVT Fox 13 Tampa)

Eyal Press (New Yorker Magazine)

Michele Gillen (CBS4 Miami)

Clair McNeill (Tampa Bay Times)

Melinda Miguel (Chief Inspector General for the Governor)

Lester Fernandez (FDC Inspector General’s Office)

Windy Hempstead

Susan Chandler

George Mallinckrodt

Jeremy Schanche

David Richardson (Florida Senator)

– – – – – – –  — – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Harold Hempstead Free Speech USA 2017
 Jeremy Schanche can be reached via the contact page.

Author: hhccblog

I'm the editor of the Harold Hempstead Caged Crusader Wordpress. My name is Jeremy Schanche. You can contact me at the blog. The blog exists to bring justice for the murder of Darren Rainey and to address the numerous human rights violations in the Florida Department of Corrections. Note: As soon as I can find the time I will construct a proper index to help you navigate around the ever-increasing archive of publications by Florida-s "Caged Crusader" Harold Hempstead -  This may take a while so thanks for your patience!

2 thoughts on “Florida D.C.’s Dangerous Games With Free Speech USA”

  1. Reblogged this on Wobbly Warrior's Blog and commented:
    The Florida Department of Corrections’ farewell party for Ghosting Harold Hempstead to Tennesee was violent. There’s sound reason to believe that a welcome home party would be even more violent, as Harold has availed himself of the opportunity to piss off more public servants by telling the truth about them. Rather bizarrely, the increased violence of an FDC welcome home party may be the better option … prison conditions in Tennessee are so godawful that corrections officers are committing suicide.


  2. Reblogged this on Helpmybrotherharoldhempstead's Blog and commented:
    Of course they roughed my little brother up the night he was kidnapped and taken from Florida!My brother was telling the world about all of the laws the prisons were breaking,he was exposing how staff who work for FDC can do whatever they want because they beleive the rules of our lands do not apply to them!Hmmmmthis is going to stop!


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