What Cuomo did

Richter, Robert



What Cuomo Did Page 1 August 16, 2018 for APWA Robert J. Richter permission on file What happens if you write to Governor Cuomo about your constitutional rights being violated, about sexual abuse in prison, about serious crimes being committed by New York State employees? I don't know what will happen to you, but I know what he did to me. Somehow, my letters wound up in the hands of one of the top people I was complaining about. Did Cuomo (or more accurately, his staff) even get my letters, or were they stolen out of the mail before they even left the prison? You might think that Cuomo wouldn't risk getting embroiled in a sexual abuse scandal just before the election, but I'm not. Isn't he famous for not knowing? His closest associates get indicted, convicted, and imprisoned, but he's perfectly safe! After all, he never knows that the law is being broken. He's such a good guy that he can't even see people breaking the law, even right in front of him, or even when I tell him so! I, on the other hand, am not quite so perfect as he is. I see crimes all the time, even in prison. Let me tell you about some of them, and what Cuomo is doing about them. I'm sure that you'll be amazed by the magnitude Page 2 "What Cuomo Did" Robert J. Richter of the problem, and by how effectively Cuomo is dealing with it. Just look at all of the corrupt officials he has fired! Oh - zero. Where's my writing paper? The State budgets money for it, DOCCS buys it, but I never get it. In maximum security prisons, prisoners get five free sheets of lined writing paper per week, but not here. Just as I wrote in "Death Comix" (www.prisonsfoundation.org) when I was in Greene CF, somebody is stealing all of it. There are a thousand inmates in a typical medium security prison, which makes fifty cases of paper per year. That's five hundred cases in the ten years (at least) that this has been going on, per prison. That's more than 4 dozen tractor trailer loads stolen without even a hint of an investigation. Of course, OSI never investigates, not seriously. This year, they finally got around to investigating what CO Douglas Williams did to me fourteen years ago. Since then, he's been fired for misconduct, sued for assault (he lost and had to pay $20,000), but does that help me? The bogus ticket he wrote, claiming I had a weapon in my cell is still on my record. So what if Williams had previously been reprimanded for lying. His word is gold, mine shit. Cops never lie, everybody knows that! Page 3 "What Cuomo Did" Robert J. Richter So what happens when OSI does (finally) investigate? I was called out from my slave job in the Mess Hall to be questioned by an OSI PREA investigator. Did he let me go back to my cube to gather paperwork? Did he ask me to write a statement? Did he record our conversation? Nope, he wrote a statement and asked me to sign it. That's not my statement, it's his, I just witnessed it. Why isn't it in my own words, my handwriting, on my (purchased from Commissary) own paper? It's not his fault - investigators don't create the procedures. Blame Cuomo. I go back to work, then get called down to the Tier Office, where Captain Raczkowski angrily confronts me with the letters I sent to Cuomo. How did he get them? I got the message: Stop cooperating with OSI, stop reporting crimes at Orleans CF. The timing was no coincidence. The arrival of an OSI investigator is big news, as is who he's questioning. Raczkowski was really pissed. I kept turning the conversation back to my stolen comic book. "Say comic book one more time and we're done.", he said, and I was so very tempted to look him in the eye and say "comic book", but I somehow didn't. Now Crowley has a new trick. Several weeks ago, the dorm officer woke me up in the middle of the night to tell me that I was going on a trip Page 4 "What Cuomo Did" Robert J Richter It turned out that someone had referred me to OMH, claiming that I had "grandiose ideas and plans". Of course, both DOCCS and OMH have known about my ideas for years (but are too ignorant, uneducated, or stupid to understand even the simplest science). Oh yeah - my ideas are also published on the internet, on at least three websites. How does that make me crazy? It doesn't, as the psych agreed. She told me that I was obviously sane and rational, and that OMH wouldn't need to see me again. This time, the officer doing the strip search allowed another inmate to see me while I was completely naked, a PREA violation. Also, since OMH didn't want to see me, it was obvious that DOCCS staff were using OMH trips as an excuse to degrade and humiliate me with unwarranted strip searches. I filed a PREA complaint, and was questioned by Sergeant Andino. I got a response of sorts. A week later, I was again awakened, but this time no trip resulted. Somebody was lying, retaliating against me. It didn't end there. Two days ago, on 8/12, I was sent to OMH for a third time. The shrink was mystified, since he had clearly written that there was no reason to see me again. Two different psychs Page 5 "What Cuomo Did" Robert J. Richter had both agreed that I'm perfectly okay, but that isn't stopping Crowley! Then he checked the paperwork, and the real insanity began. I had been strip searched again and sent to see OMH because I had filed a PREA complaint after visit number two. If that isn't de facto retaliation, I don't know what is. I complain about DOCCS staff using OMH referrals as an excuse to harass, intimidate, degrade, and humiliate me with strip searches, and the response is to strip me again? Maybe Crowley is hoping that I'll get so upset that I "act out" and wind up starving in a strip cell again, or brutally beaten like Rufus Wood. (Why isn't OSI investigating that?) Welcome to Cuomo's New York, where there is zero tolerance for writing period. Even after Brandon Scheck (from the Legal Aid Society in NYC) wrote to tell her that her anti-publishing rule is illegal, Crowley continues to enforce it. Sergeant Brakenbury called another inmate down to the trailer last week to tell him that he can't publish his poetry, enter writing contests, etc. You can stop this. You can tell Cuomo that sexual abuse is not acceptable. You can stop him from violating people's civil rights. Just don't vote for him this November. Just say no to sexual abuse, no to crime, no to Cuomo.

Author: Richter, Robert

Author Location: New York

Date: August 1, 2018

Genre: Essay

Extent: 5 pages

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