Harold Hempstead Caged Crusader Wordpress dot com – Darren Rainey, black Muslim tortured/killed by Florida prison guards – Harold Hempstead, white Christian risks life to bear witness to the crime… Please see the new site dedicated to the work of Harold Hempstead who is a major whistle-blower on the grave human rights violations in the Florida Department of Corrections and the murder of Darren Rainey.
This story is so murky and entangled it’s hard to know where to begin. I’ll try to summarize for those of you who are not familiar with these events. Harold Hempstead was illegally recruited by Florida police at the age of 13, for confidential operations. He was involved in a great deal of danger and a world of corruption, from a young and impressionable age. Having witnessed predatory activity of police, he tried to expose certain crimes committed by officers. He was set up to be killed more than once by police and eventually found himself accused of dealing in stolen goods and organizing a ring of burglars to rob vacant houses. All the actual robbers were given a deal whereby if they agreed to testify against Harold, they would not receive custodial sentences. The prosecutors also tried to pressure his sister into testifying against him, with threats of framing her on similar charges. All the robbers testified against Harold. Various police detectives also testified against him – all of whom knew that he was working for police, three of whom had personally employed him.
The (impartial) judge Brandt Downey III sentenced Harold to 165 (one hundred and sixty-five) years in jail, without parole, adding “you are a despicable human being. I hope you die in jail..”
Nearly eighteen years later, Harold Hempstead has managed to survive the deadly gulag that is the Florida Department of Corrections. He’s survived countless transfers to an endless series of different prisons, where Florida’s one hundred thousand inmates are housed, many of them in years-long solitary confinement. He’s survived regimes where convicts would be woken in the middle of the night with barked orders to stand on a pair of footprints painted on the cell floor, or immediately get drenched in tear-gas and other toxic chemical-sprays that have killed many inmates. He’s survived, so far, a system in which last year 366 inmates died in suspicious circumstances. And he survived Dade.
Dade Correctional Institution is where Darren Rainey was housed, in the Transitional Care Unit, or mental hospital within the prison. This is a place so far gone in sadism, tyranny and dysfunction that new arrivals were greeted by a representative of the State of Florida telling them “welcome to Auschwitz,” and they meant what they said. Inmates were systematically starved, leading to multiple deaths. Inmates were bullied into attacking and raping each other by sadistic guards who seemed to know no bounds of humanity. People were handcuffed and foot-cuffed before being kicked senseless by half a dozen burly guards. Every manner of physical, sexual and psychological barbarity was practiced by these guards, whom the state was paying to protect these disturbed and tormented souls who had done wrong and fallen into the hands of the state. Well, ostensibly they’d done wrong, but in at least one case, they were innocent people who should never even have been in prison at all.
It was here in the ‘hospital’ that guards started using a specially hooked-up shower with two water inlets – a normal one and one from a sink that was hot enough to boil noodles with. The staff had been using this water-supply to cook their snack-lunches. After it was converted into a torture chamber in early 2012, five inmates were subjected to extreme temperatures for extended periods until they begged for mercy and were eventually let out with a promise of ‘good behaviour.’ The fifth inmate was dead when the shower door was opened and he’d lost most of his skin in the 183° water. Harold Hempstead witnessed Darren Rainey being taken to the shower, heard the agonizing screams and cries for mercy, heard the thump of Rainey’s body collapsing and blocking the shower-drain and saw the guards carry his disfigured corpse right past his cell.
These nightmarish events so traumatised and galvanized Harold Hempstead, a devout Christian, that he set his mind to witnessing the truth of what happened to Darren Rainey. Despite the authorities sordid attempts at a cover-up and at considerable ongoing risk to his own safety, Harold finally succeeded in revealing the Darren Rainey murder to the Miami Herald newspaper who published it.
Since this time, the story has had very modest coverage in USA and virtually none internationally, outside the DIY blogosphere. The Miami Herald have however published a series of excellent articles on FDC, as has Eyal Press in the New Yorker. Four and a half years later though there has been no conclusion to the official enquiries by Florida authorities into the Rainey murder. This is outrageous.
Meantime, Harold Hempstead and other inmates continue to talk to the press from time to time and they are suffering extremely serious reprisals for it. Harold has been deprived of his vitally needed medicines, had his operation for a broken wrist cancelled, his mail violated and stolen, legal papers removed and been housed with a series of convicted murderers who are also currently abusing spice and other drugs and getting into psychotic states in the cell with him. This is all set up as retaliation and is the policy of Florida Department of Corrections.
Rather than let his voice be stifled by fear, Harold has put out a stream of sworn statements, addressed to the Department of Justice, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Dade County State Attorney and the media and human rights organizations. These statements are meticulously detailed accounts of the various crises in the Department, from murder to disabled abuse, from sexual predation of child prison visitors to the prevalence of razors, drugs etc. in the prisons.
Because of the risks to himself that he is taking to seek justice over the murder of Darren Rainey, we’ve got up a petition to demand that the guards and the prison-authorities stop persecuting Harold Hempstead for practicing Free Speech, as enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and international law.
Harold is standing up for the rights of those who have no voice. Will you join us? Please take a moment to sign the petition for Harold’s safety. There’s also a petition for justice for Darren Rainey – and the brand-new website dedicated to this cause – Harold Hempstead Caged Crusader Wordpress dot Com. You hear a lot of talk about America these days – here’s a way you can actually do something to help – follow this campaign and spread our message. Justice is for everyone because all lives matter.
And here's the Petition for Justice for Darren Rainey
Odetta – Another Man Done Gone
Rev. F.D Kirkpatrick with James Collier and Pete Seeger-
Everybody's Got a Right To Live
Everybody's Got a Right To Live
Wailers – One Love
Here's some flyers to print out, cut up and give out -
tell others about these petitions:
....because Darren Rainey's life matters.............