“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.