Monday, April 8, 2013

Capture-Trial imprisonment- (Virginia) - Safiyah Bukhari

Capture On January 25, 1975, some other members of the Amistad Collective of the BLA and I went into the country in Virginia to practice night firing. We were to leave Virginia that night on our way to Jackson, Mississippi, because I wanted to be there on Sunday to see someone. Before returning to the crib where we were staying, we decided to stop at a store to pick up cold cuts for sandwiches to avoid stopping at roadside restaurants on the way down. We drove around looking for an open store. When we came to one, I told the Brothers to wait in the car and I would go in and be right back. I entered the store, went past the registers, down an aisle to the meat counter and started checking them for all-beef products. I heard the door open, saw two of the Brothers coming in, and did not give it a thought. I went back to what I was doing, but out of the corner of my left eye, I saw the manager's hand with a rifle pointed toward the door. I quickly got into an aisle just as the firing started. Up to this point, no words had been spoken. With the first lull in shooting, Kombozi [Armistad] (one of my bodyguards and a member of the Amistad Collective) came down the aisle toward me. He was wearing a full-length army coat. It as completely buttoned. As he approached, he told me he had been shot. I did not believe him at first, because I saw no blood and his weapon was not drawn. He insisted, so I told him to lie down on the floor and I would take care of it. Masai [Ehehosi] (my co-defendant) apparently had made it out the door when the firing started because he reappeared at the door, trying to draw the fire so we could get out. I saw him get shot in the face and stumble backwards out the door. I looked for a way out and realized there was none. I elected to play it low-key to try to get help for Kombozi as soon as possible. That effort was wasted. The manager of the store and his son, Paul Green Sr. and Jr., stomped Kombozi to death in front of my eyes. Later, when I attempted to press counter-charges of murder against them, the Commonwealth attorney called it "justifiable" homicide. Five minutes after the shootout, the FBI was on the scene. The next morning, they held a press conference in which they said I was notorious, dangerous, etc., and known to law enforcement agencies nationwide. My bail was set at one million dollars for each of the five counts against me.

Trial and Imprisonment On April 16, 1975, after a trial that lasted one day, we were sentenced to 40 years; that night, I arrived here at the Virginia Correctional Center for Women in Goochland. Directly following my arrival, i was placed in the maximum-security building. There I stayed until the threat of court action led them to release me into the general population. The day after my release to general population, I was told that the first iota of trouble I caused would land me back in the maximum-security building and there I would stay. My emphasis then and for the next two years was on getting medical care for myself and the other women, as well as educational programs and activities, with the priority being on medical care for myself. Inside the prison, I was denied care. The general feeling was they could not chance hospitalization for fear I would escape; as such, they preferred to take a chance on my life. The courts said they saw no evidence of inadequate medical care, but rather a difference of opinion on treatment between the prison doctor and me.

The quality of "medical treatment" for women prisoners in Virginia must be at an all-time low. Their lives are in the hands of a "doctor" who examines a woman whose right ovary has been removed and tells her there is tenderness in the missing ovary. This "doctor" examines a woman who has been in prison for six months and tells her that she is six weeks pregnant and there is nothing wrong with her. She later finds her baby has died and mortified inside of her. Alternatively, he tells you that you are not pregnant and three months later, you give birth to a seven-pound baby boy. The list includes prescribing Maalox for a sore throat and diagnosing a sore throat that turns out to be cancer. In December 1976, I started hemorrhaging and went to the clinic for help. No help of any consequence was given, so I escaped. Two months later, I was recaptured. While on escape a doctor told me that I could endure the situation, take painkillers, or have surgery. I decided to use the lack of medical care as my defense for the escape to accomplish two things: (1) expose the level of medical care at the prison, and (2) put pressure on them to give me the care I needed.

I finally got to the hospital in June 1978. By then, it was too late. I was so messed up inside that everything but one ovary had to go. Because of the negligence of the "doctor" and the lack of feeling on the part of the prison officials, I was forced to have a hysterectomy. When they brought me back to this prison in March 1977, because of the escape, they placed me in Cell 5 on the segregation end of the maximum-security building--the same room they placed me in on April 16, 1975. I remain in that cell, allegedly because of my escape, but in actuality because of my politics.. RIP WITH THE ANCESTORZ YOUR SACRIFICE IS APPRECIATED REST WITH THE ANCESTORZ NANA SAFIYAH BUHKARI .. NEW AFRIKAN WARRIORESS ASE' from THE WAR BEYOND (Coming of age: a Black revolutionary) RB!!! FTL!! @Haki_shakur

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