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Jewish aboriginal inmate, 12 years in solitary, claims abuse of rights at BC prison

TORONTO A Jewish aboriginal prisoner who was assaulted by other inmates alleges the authorities set up the white supremacist attack in retaliation for his complaints about treatment he says has violated his constitutional rights. Timothy Nome, 42, who is serving an indeterminate sentence for punching a guard years ago, also claims correctional officers at the prison in British Columbia deliberately poured pig lard onto his kosher food and that authorities are denying him access to the courts. The contested allegations are the latest in a protracted battle between the maximum-security inmate, who has spent a total of more than 12 years in segregation during stints at numerous institutions around the country, and prison authorities, who appear to be at a loss about how to deal with him.

The Canadian Civil Liberties Association wrote Bobbi Sandhu, the warden of Kent Institution in Agassiz, to express its concerns about Nome s most recent prolonged stretch in segregation 130 days and his abhorrent treatment by prison staff. In the December letter, obtained by The Canadian Press, the association calls on Sandhu to investigate Nome s claim that he has been unable to take several grievances to court because authorities wouldn t allow him paper, a printer, or access to the prison law library.

These are matters of utmost importance, the CCLA letter states. The association said it had not had any response to its letter. Despite repeated requests from The Canadian Press, Correctional Service Canada did not respond to Nome s assertion that it was violating his constitutional rights by denying him access to the courts.

Nome was on a rare stint out of segregation at Kent Institution hoping to be reclassified as medium security when he was attacked last month. He blames white supremacists sporting visible Nazi tattoos and says authorities were aware the newcomers to his range would be incompatibles.

They knew this and they flooded the range with these guys, Nome said in a recent interview. It s foreseeable that me, being an Orthodox Jew, is going to get into trouble with that. Prison authorities deny the allegations. Instead, they blame Nome for failing to report his concerns something he says he did in writing months ago. Jean-Paul Lorieau, a regional spokesman for Correctional Service Canada, said Nome had no listed incompatibles on the unit at the time of the assault, which left him with a scald wound on his neck.

Inmates are free to identify any incompatibles they may feel are present at any time during their sentence, Lorieau said. Staff were unaware of any safety concerns in regards to Mr. Nome prior to the assault.

Nome maintained that one manager had taken photographs of a large swastika on the wall of a cell he was moved into, but authorities denied knowing the inmate was the target of racist or anti-Semitic behaviour in his living unit. Lorieau said Nome was treated for his injuries and, for his own safety, put back in solitary confinement. Vibert Jack, an advocate with Prisoners Legal Services based in Burnaby, B.C., said Nome has spent an unreasonable time in isolation.

It s obviously a rare case but it is something that we see: The institutions don t really have any solution for (such inmates) other than segregation, and Mr. Nome is an extreme example of that.

Jack, who visited Nome at Kent after the assault, said it appears guards knowingly put him in harm s way. Jack said another Jewish inmate reported correctional officers blocked a request to be housed with Nome, citing the threat from white supremacists in the range. Nome maintains that guards have been retaliating against him for raising legitimate concerns such as freezing conditions on the range and have covered up evidence that supports his complaints something correctional authorities deny. Born to an Orthodox Jewish mother and Cree father, Nome is originally from Williams Lake, B.C. He has, however, been mostly in custody since he was 13 years old.

Authorities took him from his young alcohol and drug-abusing mother when he was just four. Placed in various foster homes, where he says he was emotionally and sexually abused, he and his three younger siblings were finally adopted as a family by the Nomes described in court documents as dysfunctional. His adoptive mother beat him badly, he said. Court records show the family broke apart when Nome was 11, and he ended up in various group homes. He became a drug abuser, was often suicidal, and got into constant trouble. As an adult, Nome has been outside prison for a mere nine months, during which time he threatened and sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl by groping her, according to the conviction. In all, he has racked up an impressive number of convictions ranging from threatening death and sexual assault, to assault with a weapon, breaching probation and vandalism. However, the vast majority more than 100 of them stem from incidents that occurred behind bars.

I m not a perfect guy and I ve retaliated on a few occasions, Nome says. But it s a very very large part in retaliation or reaction to what the guards are doing to me.

His current incarceration stems from an assault in August 2005: He punched a guard who was trying to force him into different clothes. It cost the inmate two teeth and a black eye. At sentencing in 2009, forensic reports branded Nome a psychopath with anti-social personality disorder. One assessment, however, said Nome s risk of reoffending was highest in a maximum security environment, and that any risk he posed could be managed with treatment in the community. Saskatchewan Court of Queen s Bench Justice Ellen Gunn observed the irony of Nome s situation.

When Mr. Nome is triggered by feeling disrespected or unfairly treated, he engages in a power struggle, becoming inflexible, and this results in self-sabotaging threats and intimidation, Gunn wrote in her sentencing decision. The consequence for Mr. Nome is he has further loss of control than what he had started with.

Nevertheless, Gunn decided there was no reasonable possibility of controlling him outside prison, declared him a dangerous offender, and gave him the indeterminate sentence he is now serving. Nome s supporters, however, say his behaviour is much improved in recent years and that he poses no threat to others when treated properly. Steve Fineberg, a lawyer in Montreal who jokingly describes Nome as more of an industry than a client given the many people who have taken up his cause, said the inmate has been at war with prison authorities from the get-go, but had been trying to do his time peacefully when the latest series of incidents erupted.

Nome is resourceful, persistent and unwilling to back down, Fineberg said, and some guards hate him for it and have taken that out on him.

He insists on his rights and he does it energetically and joyfully and it drives Correctional Service crazy, Fineberg said. Segregation is one of their responses. He s really driving them mad. He won t stand down.

This past week, Nome said he had been transferred to a nearby prison. He said he had been told he would soon be moved to Stony Mountain Institution in Manitoba, where he said he fears he ll end up yet again in solitary.

Making borderline choices about personal data: Mallick

Should you take your cellphone across the U.S. border? Should you even take yourself across the U.S. border?

Previously unthought-of-questions keep popping up. If you are in a Canadian airport but talking to U.S. border guards in pre-clearance, are you still on Canadian soil? Can you give up on a conversation headed in a bad direction my euphemism for interrogation and just go home?

Can you be strip-searched on a whim? By a Canadian border guard? An American? Prove it was a whim. Watch your dignity, your unconquerable soul, fly away like an African swallow[1] carrying a coconut.

The answers are complicated and some of the more obscure have not been made clear. For some questions there are no answers. Laws passed in the 1970s about orange vinyl luggage are being applied to digital devices. The effect is unreal. The U.S. Homeland Security guidelines are clear basically they can do anything they want but were written in 2009 and don t seem to refer to passwords as such.

Problems that seem minor at home become massively important when a traveller is alone with U.S. border guards, intimidated and unsure.

Being right may not protect you. An airport is not a great place to argue. It is the land of at the discretion of an officer, as the CBC reports[2], and what are you going to do, call a cop?

A new bill, C-23, may make Canadian travellers lives even more miserable. The 2015 Canada-U.S. agreement it enshrines was made during the relatively balmy Obama years and passed both houses of Congress in December. But the bill seems more sinister under the administration of President Trump, as does everything really.

Legal experts say the bill gives more power to U.S. border guards in Canada, the CBC reports[3]. No, you can t abandon your journey without explanation. You re still in Canada but not really.

This is assuming you have already handed over your cellphone and laptop to U.S. customs officials, along with passwords. I use a fingerprint to open my phone. Suggestions that I foil the guards by innocently using another finger are not helpful. They ve thought of that. Naturally you balk at giving anyone the key to your entire life but you have little option.

It is not clear whether you have to do the same for a Canadian border guard. At best, they have copied all your data. At worst, they will keep it forever. This is one reason it was so damaging for Trump to have criticized an American circuit court for defying him. American law seems shakier in its performance than it used to be. U.S. customs agents do not tremble for their jobs.

There s a way to cope: Wired magazine recommends[4] a locked-down Chromebook and an iPhone SE that s set up to sync with a separate, nonsensitive Apple account wiped before the trip and loaded with minimum data.

But Wired s typical traveller is a stealth security expert. What about you? Even if you left the phone behind and managed though I cannot see how without a laptop on a work trip, your use of social media is up for grabs. Google has that. As Wired points out, this doesn t just affect individual travellers, but everyone they ve communicated with. That includes on social media.

What is worrying is the privacy of anyone who has ever emailed me. There are years of emails about legal matters, private stories from readers, conversations with editors, with family. The best portrait of me is a paper trail of a decade of book purchases on Amazon.

Readers, I give you my word that I will transfer these emails and delete the initial version of all content. But I don t envision being allowed into the U.S. at this point. I m not sure I want to go.

I am being told this is nonsense. But Friday was the first day I was unable to watch Trump doing his crazy because I had work to do. I could no longer fit his latest plan it s like children s pasta art into a highly flexible work schedule.

Covering Trump s border security plans is like overfilling sandbags. You ran out of bags long ago but the sand keeps flowing, stupid Trump sand. Soon there will be too much data for border guards to hunt down and master, and they will stop looking for it. Their cup overfloweth.

References

  1. ^ African swallow (legacy.python.org)
  2. ^ CBC reports (www.cbc.ca)
  3. ^ CBC reports (www.cbc.ca)
  4. ^ recommends (www.wired.com)
  5. ^

Player held on $50k bail following brawl at final DWC game

Player Held On k Bail Following Brawl At Final DWC Game Marquise Caudill, left, and Antwaun Boyd


NASHUA Punishment came down quickly for two Daniel Webster College basketball players, including the leading scorer this season, after a fight during the school s last-ever men s basketball game on Saturday.

Immediate disciplinary action was taken by the college to protect the campus community, said Libby May, a spokeswoman for Southern New Hampshire University, which is running Daniel Webster after DWC s parent organization, ITT Educational Services, announced the closing of all its campuses last year.

The college has taken disciplinary measures against the students who were arrested, May said Sunday. She said federal law prevented her from commenting about any particular student s status.

Police arrested two players Marquise Caudill and Antwaun Boyd and one fan during Saturday afternoon s melee; it took 25 officers to restore order. The fight ended the game, with Daniel Webster forfeiting. Police Sgt. Andrew Karlis on Sunday said the college didn t normally hire Nashua officers for a private security detail for its men s basketball games, but did so for Saturday s game and just coincidentally, they had a fight.

From what I heard, they had an ineligible player and because of that, I think they had to forfeit a few games and weren t going to make the playoffs, Karlis said of the Daniel Webster squad. The website D3hoops.com[1], which reports on Division III men s and women s basketball, said that Daniel Webster was already playing out the string after having several conference games voided by the New England Collegiate Conference office for using an ineligible player.

Voiding the five victories between Jan. 10 and Jan. 31 knocked DWC s conference mark down to 3-8, disqualifying the Eagles from the eight-team conference tournament, the website said. Players can be deemed ineligible for a variety of reasons, including poor academic performance or for playing more years than they are allowed to under NCAA rules. May declined to comment specifically on any ineligible players.

This was the last basketball game at Daniel Webster College and there are no future contests scheduled, May said. Daniel Webster will close this year.

Police said Caudill, 22, of South Hadley, Mass., assaulted a player from the other team, Southern Vermont College, in the second half. The 6-foot-7 junior guard proceeded to stomp the downed opposing player, police said in a news release.

Video below from D3Sports.com (WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT)

[embedded content]

Nashua officer John Hannigan, who was working a security detail for the game, tried to make an arrest and Caudill threatened him, according to police. That s when police said Elizabeth Morris, 43, of Malden, Mass., stood between Caudill and the officer, preventing Hannigan from making an arrest. The 6-foot, 5-inch Boyd, 23, of Stamford, Conn., appeared to be inciting an already hostile crowd that had now surrounded Officer Hannigan, the news release said.

Hannigan called for backup, and about 25 Nashua officers responded to the college. Once the extra officers arrived, the crowd was able to be dispersed and the entire situation de-escalated, police said. Caudill, the team s leading scorer this season, was charged with second-degree assault, simple assault, criminal threatening and disorderly conduct. Caudill remained at the Valley Street jail on Sunday on $50,000 cash-only bail pending his arraignment, police said.

Boyd was charged with disorderly conduct and Morris was charged with obstruction of government administration. Boyd and Morris were released on bail. Police did not release the name of the Southern Vermont College player involved.

Nashua Police Sgt. Joshua Albert on Saturday said the injured player s teammates took care of him, removing him from the area. On Sunday, Michael Nosek, sports information director for Southern Vermont College, said in an email, Our player was evaluated by a physician on the team s return to Bennington and is fine. He said the situation at Daniel Webster was unfortunate, but we re looking forward to the NECC (New England Collegiate Conference) tournament and are excited to have won the regular season championship for the third consecutive year.

New Hampshire Sunday News Staff Writer Shawne K. Wickham contributed to this report.
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References

  1. ^ D3hoops.com (www.d3hoops.com)
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