We received the following message from one of the Muslim men who was pepper sprayed on 2/28/21 by DOC staff while these men were praying. The harassment continues and is nothing new, from what we’ve been told by man. When will the Department of Corrections do something regarding this?
“Dear, Missouri prison reform. As you well know I was one of the seven individuals who were involved in the incident that occurred on February 28. And this is my account of it. It was around 9:10 and we were performing our Salat (that’s a prayer that is obligatory to all Muslims) and keep in mind that we pray everyday 5times a day. Now myself as well as my brothers pray everyday in the housing unit at around the same time for the last few months. So we think that this day is no different. As the Imam begins the prayer and we follow along everything is normal. Then as we progress in our Salat I don’t hear anything until I hear an officers radio. At this point I’m so into my prayer that we are completely surrounded by staff and they have the Mace cans in there hands and I get sprayed right in the face. Then I realized that they have the Imam on the ground with officers all over him and he’s telling them that he can’t breath. And as I look to my left I see a brother turn around and get cuffed up then I here someone get hands on the Big Guy. So I turn around and put my hands behind my back and cuff up and as I am getting cuffed up I get another round of spray in my face this time right in the eyes and all over my body. Note: That at no time did I give any resistance and as far as I know none of my brothers resisted ether. Now they take us to 1house with is the hole and they take all our clothes everything but our boxers. And they leave us there for the better part of a day. Mind you we have A LOT of MACE on us and it BURNS! really bad. So no medical attention, no clothes and our body’s were cold and on FIRE at the same time. The next day comes and an officer finally comes and tells us that they talked to a few of our brother on the hill and they are going to get us showers. They also tell us that they saw what happened and that the warden says give him two days and we should be out. So the next day come and something happens on the hill with another officer and we stay in the hole. They come back and say now we have to do 10 days and we get out. And we have to file to get our violation thrown out. They do let us out and everything is good for a few days, we pray without a problem then all of a sudden we get harassed again about us praying. Now I am really discouraged about praying because I feel that I’ll get punished for praising GOD. And just recently they call all of us to custody to quote on quote (rewrite the violation). Now I file my IRR and I feel like they may retaliate because that’s what they do. And we have no protection against the people that are suppose to protect us. And it all gets swept under the rug. No one will ever know because at the end of the day they look out of each other. And they silence us how ever they choose. I’m kind of hesitant to write this thinking of what they’ll do to me. But the people need to know! We broke no rules and we suffer because of our religion. And we continue to be harassed and tormented because of what they did to us and will move in fear everyday because of the things that go on everyday in the DOC.”