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, B.C., 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.
By Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press
“They didn’t say anything that I could personally hear. They just kept hitting me and my friends…”
Dustin Olwig, the Attila fan who was assaulted by security during the band’s Milwaukee, WI show this past Thursday, has spoken out. His and his brothers rough treatment at the hand’s of venue staff led to Attila themselves brawling with security. Speaking to thesickest.co, Dustin offered:
“Well, I am a huge fan of Attila that for sure. I listen to them every day because they are just as brutal as myself. I live the same no fucks given lifestyle. Being big fans, my brother Cory Olwig, and my friend Austin Bruhn all decided we were going to try and get over the barricade by crowdsurfing (as Fronz [Atilla’s vocalist] demanded the crowd to do), as we wanted to meet and sing with Fronz during his live performance.
“My brother threw Austin up first, security instantly slammed his head into the metal barricade, then I was about to go over and I didn’t even make it half way over the barricade before They pulled me the rest of the way over, by grabbing me around my neck and slamming me to the ground. Then they all started punching me while I was on the ground, Chis Linck [the band’s guitarist] then jumped on to the security guards to help me.
“The first guard that grabbed Linck, my brother pulled him off, punched him in the head and put him in a head lock and wouldn’t let go until Linck was back on stage. I then broke free from security, ran to the right of stage and just sat on it until the show abruptly ended. Also our friends Nathan Youngwirth and Chad Stern were attacking the guards from the other side of the barricade trying to get the off of me and the band.”
“They didn’t say anything that I could personally hear. They just kept hitting me and my friends. They threatened my brother, me, and Austin right away because they knew we were going to do something. I heard no warning about moshing at all nor were any signs posted not to. They let everyone throw down the entire whole show but when the end came they got violent with us. If you review the video you can see my brother (the guy with no shirt) holding security off their guitarist Chris Linck. You can also see me being pulled down and hit as well as Austin being escorted off by the security with Chris behind him.”
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With the conflict in Yemen now starting to spill out into neighbouring seas, the spotlight is once again falling on naval forces to ensure that maritime trade can continue to flow unimpeded into the Middle East region. That responsibility is very much on the shoulders of the Combined Maritime Forces (CMF), a unique multinational collective of more than 30 like-minded nations dedicated to promoting security and free flow of commerce across 3.2 million square miles of international waters in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, the Somali Basin, the Indian Ocean and the Gulf. Headquartered at the US Naval Support Activity in Bahrain, CMF is commanded by a US Navy vice admiral (who also serves as Commander US Navy Central Command and US Navy Fifth Fleet), with a UK Royal Navy commodore as his deputy. Operations are executed by three combined task forces: CTF 150 (maritime security and counterterrorism), CTF 151 (counter piracy) and CTF 152 (Arabian Gulf security and co-operation).
CMF is today comprised of 31 member nations: Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Jordan, the Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, the Philippines, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, the Seychelles, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the UK, the USA and Yemen. Participation is purely voluntary, and member nations are not bound by either a political or military mandate. The contribution from each varies depending on its ability to contribute assets, and the availability of those assets at any given time: contributions can vary from the provision of a liaison officer at CMF HQ in Bahrain to the deployment of warships or support vessels in task forces, and land-based maritime reconnaissance aircraft. CMF s main focus areas are disrupting terrorism, preventing piracy, reducing illegal activities, and promoting a safe maritime environment for all. Speaking to Jane s last year, Vice Admiral Kevin Donegan, Commander, US Naval Forces Central Command, US Fifth Fleet, and Combined Maritime Forces, made clear the imperative for security at sea: Nearly 20 per cent of the world s oil transits through the Strait of Hormuz every day, he said. Imagine the impact on the global economy if suddenly that oil stops flowing because of restricted sea lanes. This region is clearly important to the whole world.
The sea continues to be the lifeblood of the world economy, added Commodore Will Warrender, commander of the UK Maritime Component Command in Bahrain and deputy commander of CMF. The protection of the seas, and our proficiency in ensuring that we maintain the capability to provide security, will remain a key maritime responsibility.
Of course, to do this we need to ensure that we, along with our partners, have the capability and confidence to act together. The best method to ensure this is to train both as individuals, but most importantly, collectively as a team.
This is most visibly demonstrated by the regular International Mine Countermeasures Exercise (IMCMEX), which has now widened its aperture to address a range of defensive operations designed to protect international commerce and trade. Last year s event, IMCMEX 2016 , was claimed to be the world s largest maritime exercise, reflecting both the number of participants (more than 30 drawn from six continents) and the vast geographical spread of its activities over an area of operations from the Suez Canal down through the Red Sea to the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, through the Gulf of Aden, the Gulf of Oman, and into the Gulf. These vast sea areas provided the venue for fleet tactical exercises focused on mine countermeasures, maritime infrastructure protection, and maritime security operations.
The participating nations are united by a common thread: the need to protect the free flow of commerce from a range of maritime threats including piracy, terrorism, and mines, said Vice Admiral Donegan. This exercise is also a great opportunity for us to build proficiency and test the latest technology available for ensuring the global maritime commerce stays open and secure. It also allows us to work with our partners to reinforce adherence to the international rules and accepted behavioural norms expected of professional mariners.
Commodore Warrender added: IMCMEX demonstrates the capability and co-operation of the international community and is not about any one nation or group. Our aim is to conduct exercises with our partner nations that allow us to continue to develop our interoperability and capability to ensure that we are ready to meet potential challenges now and in the future.
No one nation here is big enough to be able to address the whole problem, but no one nation is so small that their contribution doesn t matter.