“A Tale of an American Political Prisoner”

Part 6.5: The DC Gulag, Washington, DC

–Abuses, Changes & Reunions–

A True Story; 100% verifiable with Text Messages, Emails, Video/Audio, Court Documents and Testimony.

Despite our burgeoning unity, the Pod kept getting dealt a raw deal; sometimes manifesting itself as internal conflict. I wrote about one such instance in the C2B Newsletter; I called the article “Bad Friday”. It was the day of Good Friday, just before Easter. For us, it was anything but. We had only been out of our cells for 10 to 15 minutes when a verbal dispute broke out between two of the guys. The CO’s (who made it clear they hated us) decided to punish everyone. The two guys who had argued (briefly) had never laid hands on each other. Never made threats. They just argued for 15-20 seconds. What they didn’t know is that the CO was waiting for an opportunity to use his authority to put the insurrectionists under his proverbial boot. He jumped up yelling and told everyone to hang up their phone calls and “…Step in!”. Jake Lang (being the stubborn little cuss that he is) took his sweet time ending his phone call. In his defense, he WAS ending it, but not quickly enough. The Officer used his semi-defiance to snap on all of us, screaming “Lockdown motherf***ers. Get back in your f***ing cells!” We wouldn’t come out of our cells -not even for showers- for a full week. At the time, I was still in Cell 5. I could hear the CO’s laughing and talking about us at the desk, calling us “Cracker-ass mothaf***ers” or “Honkeys” and “Dumbass white boys”. It was clear. They hated us, and they thought that our punishment was funny. For a full week we remained trapped behind those doors; smoldering with resentment for our undeserved mistreatment.

Another instance of abuse came one night after I had moved back into Cell 18. We had been singing “God Bless America”, loudly and proudly, when Officer Holmes came up onto the unit screaming “F*** America! F*** America! Shut the f*** up!” We didn’t take it well at all. Half of us in C2B were veterans, many of whom (myself included) had a combat MOS and fought in the Middle East. Needless to say, THAT pissed us off. A LOT. We started yelling, beating on our doors, “What the f*** did you just say?” or “Did you say F*** America? No, f*** YOU!” or “America pays your bills, dips***!”. He stalked up and down the cell block in his tactical gear, hands balled in fists, looking into our cells and threatening each of us. One of the guys yelled at him as he walked by. Holmes and the two Officers with him turned off their BodyCams and crowded into his cell, threatening to gang-stomp him. Given the recent near-death beating of Ryan Samsel, that threat was taken very seriously. This would not be the only instance of threats of violence (nevermind actual violence). We were getting a mere introductory taste of the hostility we would be shown. By this point, C2B was half full. We had folks living on the top and bottom tier, and spanning most of the Cell Block. There were probably 25-30 of us Political Prisoners by this point. With our expanded numbers came witnesses.

When Samsel was beaten, there were less than a dozen of us; they were able to move him to Cell 24 to do the deed Off Camera, and out of eyesight of other inmates. But now, there was less chance to single us out like that. Any time anything weird would happen, we’d beat on the doors and draw attention to the situation. We had a silent pact; another Samsel-esque beating would not occur without witnesses. We realized we needed to watch out for each other, because the threats were very real. Fortunately, C2B was in such a layout that most of the cell block was in sight-line of most of the cells, and witnesses were readily available. Before I go further, allow me to describe the layout of C2B. The Cell Block is roughly L shaped, and painted in a stark grey and white. The Unit is 2 stories tall inside, with recessed lighting inset into the ceiling. There are a total of 48 Cells, divided between 24 on the Top Tier and 24 on the Bottom Tier. A catwalk runs the length of the cell block, with stairs at one end, and at the center. Another catwalk bisects the Day Room area, and from this we would eventually hang the flag during our nightly singing of the National Anthem. Along the interior of the Day room are a number of tables covered in peeling latex paint. There are 2 tiny TV’s mounted high up on the walls. By the door is a microwave, utility closet, phones, Commissary kiosk, and a TV room with a broken TV in it. On the opposite side are 4 showers. Everything echoes super loudly, and it gets very annoying and chaotic when people start making a bunch of noise. But defensively, it’s very helpful in drawing attention in an emergency. And as the Pod kept filling with Political Prisoners, more and more witnesses would be available. Around this time, a familiar face walked into the room with the new arrivals; Donovan Crowl.

At the time, I hadn’t seen his messages about me, so I didn’t know what he had said to his Unkle about me being trans. But I did assume he figured it out. I decided to carry on as if nothing had changed, I am still Jessica, still the person he knew back before I was “outed”. I figured that frankly, it was none of his business. My genetics only matter to me, my parents, my husband, and God. Nobody else needs to know, and it’s nobodies business. If it weren’t for J6 and subsequently being “outed” against my will, I wouldn’t be having THIS conversation with YOU. Ironically, the LIBERALS did this to me; attacking me for being a trans person and sensationalizing my “status” for ratings. Prior to being arrested, nobody knew I was trans, and I wouldn’t have told anyone. I have been a woman for 20+ years now. For me, it’s not a trend, a community, or a lifestyle. I treat it like it’s the mental health disorder that it is. Anyway, I digress. I think Donovan had gotten over it by the time he had arrived at C2B. Before J6, Donovan and I were two peas in a pod. he was more than a customer at my bar. He was a close personal friend. He’d come most nights, sometimes I think just for the comradery. We veterans tend to suffer in loneliness. My other customers often strongly disliked him. He’s a loud, brash, alcohol soaked Marine. Not too many people can handle someone like him. But to me, I saw who he really was inside; generous to a flaw, supportive, and completely loyal to his friends and family. He was a brother veteran, we were both staunch Patriots, and deeply political. These facts made us good friends. By the time he got to C2B, he must have had time to “come to terms” with it, because he treated me well. It was almost like it didn’t matter. Maybe it was a front; maybe he was deeply resentful and putting on a mask. But I don’t like to think so. I hope he respects me for who I am, and not what I am. Regardless of this, I was soon to never see him again.