I was once a combat soldier

Dillon, Kyle

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I was once a combat soldier in the U.S. army. Now I am a convicted felon in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. I was once treated like a hero and now I'm treated like the scum of the earth, subhuman. The scars from the guards assaulting me are rather large and will remain with me for the rest of my life. Having been sentenced to 20 years in prison for nothing more than threatening someone with a knife it really grates on my sense of justice, of right and wrong, for these "pillars of the communities" to be able to make a profession of committing worse crimes then I committed and still get to enjoy their freedoms. It was a problem in Nazi concentration camps and it is a problem in the United States prison system, no one guards the guards. Police brutality is not just an issue outside of these walls. On July 27, 2017 at a couple minutes after 10 p.m. it was stifling hot with next to no air flow on the ancient Ferguson unit in Midway Texas, about a 90 min. drive north of Houston. By policy the guards are supposed to provide cold water "as needed" to inmates to prevent heat related injury and deaths which has been a topic of a lot of litigation in federal courts over the past few years. Having been ignored for hours by the two officers working the housing block and recognizing the signs of dehydration from my time in the military I stuck my arm out under my door to wave them down as they walked to the front of the run with the aluminum framed plexiglass shield suspended from the ceiling. The officer pushing the shield rammed it into my arm trying to force it over my arm. My reaction was to grip the side of the frame to hold it off of my arm. The officer came from the back edge of the shield to the leading edge and without a word proceeded to kick and stomp on my hand. The other officer grabbed the shield and began violently jacking it back and forth tearing it from my grasp ripping a gash in my left palm that ran a jagged path from nearly the base of my index finger nearly to my wrist in the middle of the bone of my palm. The gash measured approximately 4" long 1/2" wide and exposed muscle in my hand when the flap of flesh was moved. It was bleeding profusely. Neither officer reported the incident leaving me to bleed all over my cell as I tried to staunch the blood flow. It took over half an hour for me and several helpful inmates creating a disturbance to attract the attention of a supervisor, a lieutenant of corrections. His first act coming onto the block was to ask the officer what was going on and his official report says that the answer he received was "nothing". As several of us were still yelling for the lieutenant to come up to 2-row 6-cell to come speak to me about the incident and my injury he came upstairs. The time was 10:34 p.m.. The lieutenant spoke to me and both of my neighbors and we all told him what happened. He finally said he was going to go review the security surveillance camera recording to see what the cameras were able to capture of the incident. Though his official report says he was able to tell that a use of force (UoF) had taken place he came back to my cell and told me he was unable to see either officer assaulting me and then assured me that I was going to be taken to medical to have my injury treated while was still bleeding over an hour after the UoF. At ten minutes past midnight, now over two hours since I was injured, the lieutenant showed up with a digital video recorder and several officers to escort me from my cell in handcuffs to the office where poor still photos were taken of my blood encrusted hand which was still leaking small amounts of fluid. I gave the lieutenant my statement, again, of my version of events and was given a sheet of paper but no writing instrument to write down my statement The official report reflects that my neighbors and I all refused to give any statement concerning the UoF. After that dog and pony show was all done I was finally taken to medical and allowed to clean my hand as well as I could before a video conference call with on-call medical personnel to evaluate my ripped open hand. My combat lifesaver (CLS) training was helpful in this self treatment I had to give myself since no medical staff worked at night on Ferguson to do any of this for me. The on-call medical staff took one look at my hand through the camera and told security to take me to the emergency room in Huntsville that was open 24 hours and by some time just before 3 a.m. I had 8 stitches in my hand. By the time we returned to Ferguson unit some of the nurses had arrived and medical staff quickly pronounced that I was fit to be returned to my cell. I was not, however, returned to my previous cell on the level 1 block I had been on but instead was downgraded to level 3 without being told the infraction I was being charged with to justify this. I went on hunger strike not eating or drinking starting that Friday morning. It was beyond belief that I had been assaulted and was now being punished for being the victim. By Monday I had lost 12 pounds. As hot as those old red brick units get most of it was sweated away. On Monday a major case print out was served on me for allegedly trying to assault the officer by trying to grab his foot and leg. By Tuesday I was minus 2 more pounds when a captain came by my cell to tell me the case was gone and that I would not have to even go to a hearing or any thing and that I would be going back to level 1 that day without having to do the normal 90 days downgraded from level 1. By all signs I was determined to have done no wrong and was not disciplined in any way for the incident. The officer on the other hand did receive a disciplinary but merely for failing to report the UoF which is normal for TDCJ to give an officer a slap on the wrist with a technical violation instead of charging them with using excessive force. If force had been necessary I would have received a case not the officer. I have since filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas Houston Division styled Dillon v. Jimoh et at., Civil Action No. H-17-3109 as have found out through discovery that the duplicity of TDCJ did not stop with the technical violation of the rules for the officer. The security surveillance video recording that the lieutenant reviewed was deleted as was the records of my grievance requesting the retention of that video file though my grievances filed before and after that date are still there. Also deleted are the records of the major case I was written which would had demonstrated a lack of wrongdoing on my part to the court and the cause for the case being dismissed would have proved enlightening too. All three of these records support the fact that the officers were in the wrong. So, who guards the guards? Some people feel that those of us that are in prison deserve anything and everything that happens to us, that we are the scum of the earth, subhuman. These hypocrites would allow officers to be sanctioned unconvicted felons with a double standard that makes no sense. Applauding unconvicted criminals and loathing convicted criminals is a bewildering contradiction. Having served overseas for my country during 9/11 2001 spending the 2001 holiday session in foreign country and earning the National Defense Ribbon every U.S. soldier received that day I can say with authority that I am just as good as any correctional officer and have every right to be treated in a humane manner. Prisoners are human too and I ask everyone reading this to shed your prejudice and hate. Together we can eliminate the lack of public interest and awareness in how humans are stored and abused in the United States. Kyle Dillion Kyle Dillon Texas Previous permissions -- questionnaire and previous work on file. Sorry it is a little messy, carbon paper costs less than ribbon and I'm a poor man. Unless/until I win a lawsuit for assault/abuse I've suffered anyhow. 🙂 P.S. Do readers get enough info to contact me if they desire? That would be okay with me.

Author: Dillon, Kyle

Author Location: Texas

Date: October 23, 2018

Genre: Essay

Extent: 2 pages

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