SOURCE: A Just Cause

A Just Cause

October 19, 2015 08:34 ET

Prison Officials Cause the Death of Inmate in Solitary Confinement and Have the Body Immediately Cremated in an Attempt to Cover Up the Death at the Florence Prison Camp in Colorado Says Advocacy Group, A Just Cause

The Mother and Family of Michael Andersen, 44, Are Convinced Prison Officials Are Responsible for His Untimely Death in Solitary Confinement

DENVER, CO--(Marketwired - October 19, 2015) - A Just Cause (AJC) continues to report on the untimely death of Michael Andersen in solitary confinement and work with his family to find answers. His family has yet to receive the answers they seek from Florence Prison Camp Warden Stancil or the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Director Charles Samuels. A Just Cause has released a video on YouTube entitled, "The Family Speaks: The Murder of Inmate Michael Andersen at Florence Prison Camp," to bring awareness to his family's struggles to date.

"Sadly, the only reaching out by prison officials was the urgent offer to cremate her son's body free of charge," says Lamont Banks, Executive Director of A Just Cause. "Inmate Andersen's death has been kept very quiet, with no public reports by BOP officials. No other answers have been given to this grieving family. It is really not all that surprising since Florence Prison has been notoriously unpredictable with no accountability exhibited by its leaders, particularly Warden Stancil," concludes Banks.

A 70 year old senior citizen and mother of one of the IRP6 fell out of a chair, sustaining serious injuries and other IRP6 family members and friends have been subject to disrespect and abuse by the Florence Federal Prison Camp staff. Despite numerous complaints to Warden Stancil and all the way up to Director Samuels, A Just Cause has received no response or remediation to date. "These are modern day dictators and abusers of the human spirit. Family members are subject to continued cruelty and needless abuse," states Cliff Stewart, an executive of A Just Cause. The behavior for the past several weeks during visiting hours has been outlined in multiple press releases dated Oct 5th and Oct 13th.

"The behavior has been so severe that other visitors have questioned the abusive treatment and why IRP6 family and friends are continually targeted. One lady even asked aloud, 'why are they disrespecting these people? Have you all tried to call the White House?' It has become so blatant and deliberate that other visitors can't even miss it. These are quite simply acts of retaliation and collusion by the prison staff to target the IRP6, their families and friends. The misconduct and abuse starts with Warden Stancil, who appears to be a modern day dictator, whose corrections officers are creating an environment of intimidation, fear and retaliation, not only for inmates but for families and friends who come to visit. The behavior is criminal and stops at the feet of Director Samuels who has failed to act," declare A Just Cause executives.

The ongoing provocation of IRP6 visitors continued on Saturday, October 17, 2015 as multiple visitors were told there were issues with their clothing and they wouldn't be permitted to enter until they changed. Visitors were puzzled as they were told to leave for inexplicable violations of the dress code. In many cases, the clothing had been worn previously without issues and other visitors with similar clothing were permitted to enter earlier in the day.

"This is yet another clear example of abuse of power and rules that are contrived each time visits occur. It also is evidence of the uneven application and enforcement of newly created rules to the IRP6 friends and family members. The frustration with this behavior has reached a boiling point. The situation is only made worse by the lack of response from anyone at the BOP, from Warden Stancil all the way up to Director Samuels. When will it stop? Who will hold the Florence prison staff accountable?" questions Lisa Stewart, an executive of A Just Cause.

The latest revision of the Visiting Procedure -- Institutional Supplement found online that references the Florence Prison Camp is dated May 7, 2014 and approved by Warden Berkebile states, "All visitors entering the institution for a visit will be appropriately attired. Visitors may not wear shorts, mini-skirts, sheer or tight fitting clothing, excessively short or low cut clothing, backless clothing, halter tops, or sleeveless clothing. Dresses, blouses or other apparel of a suggestive or revealing nature may not be worn." A Visiting Procedure -- Institutional Supplement associated with the FCI Florence, dated May 16, 2013 and approved by Warden Cozza-Rhodes cites an identical dress code.

Though both documents are dated and neither is signed by the current Warden (Stancil), the IRP6 family and friends did not violate any portion of the above dress code guidelines, but they were told to change before they could enter. "The demeanor of Officer A. Hunsberger was antagonizing and lacked professionalism. She was delighted to tell me that I could not enter, pointing me to the nearby Dollar General to find something else, which might look a bit tacky, in her words," remarked Janette Williams, a visitor of the IRP6. "Oddly enough, when I returned, I asked a couple of the male guards who weren't busy if the new shirt that I purchased would be permissible and they stated that they didn't know what was wrong with the first one I had on, so to ask Officer Hunsberger. I just don't understand why the rules keep changing every week and I found Officer Hunsberger's demeanor extremely unprofessional," concludes Williams. "This is only one example of a prison guard trying to provoke Mrs. Williams and other visitors at the prison camp, but there are several other encounters of prison officials abusing their authority," adds Banks.

"On Saturday, October 17, 2015, a friend and I went to visit our friends, the IRP6. I wore an outfit that I have worn to the visiting room at least four times since February. It literally covers everything from neck to ankles. No one ever had a problem with it until Saturday. Officer Hunsberger decided my attire was unacceptable and that I had to remove the 'jacket' that I had on. I told her that it was part of the outfit and if I removed it my sleeveless underdress would be exposed. She disregarded my statement and said that I had to remove my 'jacket' or I could not enter. Mind you, removing that part of my outfit would expose my arms, rendering me sleeveless. She then said that I could not enter anyway because I had a tank top on. I was wearing a shoulder to ankle DRESS. A lady, who was visiting another inmate, handed me a shawl which I used to cover my arms. I was then told that I would not be allowed to enter because I had on a tank top. Do they know the difference between a top and a maxi DRESS? In addition to that Officer Hunsberger said that she would go get the Lieutenant since I had taken issue with what she was saying. I waited for Lieutenant Campbell, only to be told that I had a tank top on and could not enter. He also said that the shawl, which covered my arms, was a cover up and was not allowed. He advised me to read the dress code, which I have...repeatedly. When I took issue with what he was saying, and I asked him to show me the documentation, he said that it came down from regional. I asked him to show me the regional documentation. He refused and refused to allow me entry. When I was walking away, one of the male guards said 'I don't know what was wrong with that. I would have let her in,'" exclaimed Lynette Campbell, a frequent visitor of the IRP6.

"In addition to that, my friend, who rode with me to Florence, was not allowed entry to the visiting room. I stood there, incredulous as Officer Hunsberger told my friend that her attire was unacceptable. She wore a black tank set, with a loose, flowing cardigan. You could see her neck and her wrists, that's all. "That is a tank top and unless that top is connected to the 'jacket' you can't come in. It is in the dress code," was what Officer Hunsberger said. I want to see this often quoted dress code. No dress code that I have seen has gone into such detail. This is worse than ridiculous! This is harassment, pure and simple," said Campbell.

"On another date, earlier in the summer, the harassment extended outside the visitor room to the parking lot at the camp. I qualify for, and use, a handicap parking placard because of my disability. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, I used the placard to park in a marked handicap parking space. After leaving the visiting room and getting in my car, I was stopped by an officer in a pickup truck. He told me that I was never to park in that spot again. I asked why and did not receive an answer beyond 'because I said so.' I have used my U.S. issued handicap placard in another country and was not harassed. Why wouldn't I be able to use it anywhere in the United States?" questions Campbell.

A gentleman visiting the IRP6 had a very short zipper on this shirt, which went from the neck down approximately three inches towards his chest. He was told his top was considered a sweater and it would have to be removed before he was permitted to enter. "The unreasonable interpretations of IRP family and friends attire and constant trips to vehicles or the nearby store are acts of retaliation and cruelty against IRP6; it is completely unwarranted and unjustified. The dress code speaks to dress that is in good taste and modest. IRP6 family and friends have respectfully followed every rule, including the dress code, and take great exception with the needless abuse by prison officials. It is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated. Those accountable must be stopped!" exclaims Cliff Stewart.

"If Inmate Michael Andersen's death could be quietly swept under the rug with no investigation or consequences, A Just Cause is concerned about the welfare and safety of the IRP6. Will there be six more body bags with no investigation or accountability? Will retaliation and abuse by prison officials be taken to the next level? A Just Cause is grievously concerned and won't stop we find someone who will listen and affect change in the situation at Florence Prison Camp," declares Banks.

"A Just Cause will continue to plead with members of Congress, who are a part of the Judiciary Committee in Washington, D.C. and oversee the conduct of the Bureau of Prison, to seek help and an end of the abusive conduct and tyrannical treatment. A Just Cause will continue the fight for the IRP6 as well as their family members who are now victims of cruel abuse at the hand of a dictator, Warden Stancil as well as Director Samuels unfairly targeted and continually harassed by the Florence corrections staff," exclaims Banks.

The IRP6 case concerns six software innovators, (David A. Banks, Kendrick Barnes, Demetrius K. Harper, Clinton A. Stewart, Gary L. Walker, and David A. Zirpolo), of the IRP Solutions Corporation in Colorado who were convicted in 2011 on mail and wire fraud charges for to their failure to pay debts to staffing companies related to software development work done to support a sales to law enforcement agencies, specifically the Department of Homeland Security and New York City Police Department (D. Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA). These steps were taken because the IRP6 software is a tool to cripple ISIS and any other terrorist group that threatens the safety and security of the United States of America. "It is our obligation to ensure the safety of these men who hold such a critical part to the national security of the United States," concludes Banks.

For more information about the story of the IRP6 or for copies of the legal filings go to http://www.freetheirp6.org.

Related press releases: http://www.a-justcause.com/#!2015-press-releases/cl69

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