Sunday (March 9, 03) a normal day behind the Iron Cage here at the Eastham unit, the morning has come and noon is here so outside recreation is called and I decided that I will get some sun while enjoying myself at competing with the other guys on the handball court. The Columbians and Mexicans those from Mexico compete at soccer on the large yard as well as the Blacks competing against Blacks at basketball and some Whites and Mexicans competing at handball. While the weight section is full of mixed people. And many more are just walking around the yard and enjoying themselves in their own special ways because some are just standing around and others are just sitting on the grass. All starts well with no problems. On the smaller yard Whites and Mexicans and a few Blacks compete against each other at basketball and some sit around on the tables and others stand or walk seeing others compete etc. The weight section is full as well and here I am on the handball court. All started well and before you know it inmates are gathering around a White male inmate on the basketball court, nobody really knows what is wrong with him but still the officers that are patrolling the yards and the ones watching from the towers see this and one of them call in that they have one down.

    Officers with and without rank start to come into the yard and not one of them runs, they all walk over to the basketball court and in all reality they just stood around the inmate until the nurses who walked as well got there even an assistant warden came walking outside. At this time the nurses start doing something for this man which is placing oxygen over his nose and mouth and placing him on the bed that they have with them. As they all walk back with this inmate, you can see his legs and feet as well as his arms and hands but they are not purple like his head (either he shaved or had no hair), why is it purple so soon? I do not know but I have seen this many times and never question anybody about it. Well, it turns out that this man dies at least that is what was told to us.

    During all this, many inmates talk about how the officers with and without ranks walked and stood out there and the time that it took them to get out there. And could he have been saved if these same officials would have responded in some other way and everybody is giving their opinion as to what could have been done. As I hear all this I have to stop and wonder to myself of the way the Texas Prison System used to be "before" the Ruiz lawsuit that started over 20 years ago and which I got to see and experience many things which have now changed for the better in many areas. I cannot say if this man had a chance to have his life saved but I can say is that in the time it took these officers and nurses to get out there it was reasonable and quick, yet they all walked but compare this walking and time to the way it used to be and all I could think of is-times have changed from what it used to be years ago. But the prison system still does wrong in their own special ways and get away with it because they can falsify and fabricate paper work to look good "until" someone really searches within and then will see truth.

    The above mentioned is something that happens in here every day somewhere in these Texas Prisons so to me it is nothing new. I just place hopes and pray that someday someone out there will be able to do something more.

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Felipe is currently on parole and TPNS wish him much success.


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