"Dallas 6" Prisoners Face Trial for Protesting Abuse in Solitary Confinement

Solitary The Dallas 6 should not be on trial for standing up for their right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment. (Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout)

In April 29, 2010, six Black men held a peaceful protest against the physical and mental abuse and starvation inflicted on them and other prisoners, as well as against the guard-assisted suicide of a white prisoner named Matthew Bullock, and the restraint chair torture of a Latino prisoner in the Restricted Housing Unit at the State Correctional Institution at Dallas (SCI Dallas) in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. These men are collectively known as the Dallas 6. One of them is my son, Carrington Keys.

On that day, the prisoners covered their cell windows and peacefully requested outside intervention. Instead, they were assaulted with military weaponry by armed guards in riot gear and forcefully removed from their cells . They were stripped naked and left bloody, never receiving medical treatment. These six unarmed men, who protested from within their single cells in solitary confinement, are charged with rioting. Preceding this incident, members of the Dallas 6 notified the district attorney and state police about ongoing abuses at SCI Dallas. Neither responded nor investigated.

After the Dallas 6 were brutally assaulted, a criminal complaint was filed with the state police by the Human Rights Coalition, a prisoner rights group based in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A lawsuit was also filed against then District Attorney Jackie Musto Carroll by the Dallas 6’s Carrington Keys (my son). Four months later, after a local newspaper published an article about the lawsuit against the DA, the PA Department of Corrections, the state police and the district attorney filed riot charges. Initially, the members of the Dallas 6 were charged with refusing to obey an order, for which they would have received a simple disciplinary sanction. This was an attempt to cover up rampant human and…

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