The following was submitted by Nasty Nathaniel Thomas. Who along with two other CopBlockers audited a California prison. Without surprise thugs from both the prison and local law enforcement responded in an attempt to deter them from exercising their rights. If you see something, film something. Then share it with us VIA the CopBlock Network. Here are some tips for getting your content published at CopBlock.org. Remember to join the CopBlock Chapter near you and if one hasn’t been started yet, feel free to start one yourself. Just remember to submit the links so it can be added to the groups list.
October 8, 2016
California Department Of Corrections And Rehabilitation
Address: California Rehabilitation Center, 5th Street & Western, Norco, California 92860.
Warden: Cynthia Y. Tampkins
Phone: (951) 737-2683.
Howdy folks. Nasty Nathanial here and I’d like to share with you my experience of auditing a California State Prison. Joining me for this audit were my good friends, and fellow Cop Blockers, California Guardian and High Desert Community Watch. Just as I learned about Cop Blocking from Brian Sumner, the auditing skills I have picked up from California Guardian and High Desert Community Watch have been very valuable to me when conducting my own First Amendment Audits.
The California Rehabilitation Center(CRC) is a state prison in the city of Norco which is about 50 minutes east of Los Angeles. CRC has quite an extensive history. It originally opened in 1929 as the Lake Norconian Resort, a hotel which was visited by some of the biggest names in Hollywood. But in 1940 the hotel closed and the facility became a Naval hospital. Then the property was turned over to the state to create a new prison and by 1963 the first inmates had arrived at CRC.
Something that I find quite interesting is that CRC is supposed to be a rehabilitation prison for drug offenders. However, the reality of the situation is that very few inmates are there for rehabilitation purposes. Instead the prison is extremely overcrowded and the inmates live in horrific conditions. Violence is rampant and the prison is constantly being placed on lock down status. The buildings are so old and outdated that the electricity has to be shut off during rainstorms to keep the inmates from being electrocuted.
With all of this being the case, the three of us decided to head over to the California Rehabilitation Center to take a close up look at this decrepit prison; and get up close up look we did. Unlike, many correctional facilities I have visited, with the exception of Manila City Jail in the Philippines, CRC is located right smack dab in the middle of a residential neighborhood. There are houses literally right across the street. I have always found that to be quite strange. Can you imagine waking up in the morning and looking out your window to see a prison? It maid good for a First Amendment Audit though being we could walk right up to the perimeter fence and film the institution from up close.
Now if you have watched any other First Amendment Audit videos you will see that correctional officers are not fond of people with cameras. This is clearly visible in my 1st Amendment Audit, Valley State Prison video I did with Brian Sumner a few months back.
It didn’t take long before the prison’s outside mobile patrol unit made contact with us. You will see in the video that the driver of the vehicle, who was traveling at high speed with his overhead lights flashing, pulled right up in front of High Desert Community Watch. I thought for a moment he was going to hit him being how fast he was driving. Then a correctional sergeant gets out and approaches us in an aggressive manner. Pointing his finger he tells us in his best authoritative voice that we cannot be filming the institution. Our response to his claim was to simply walk past him and continue filming.
The second contact came from a correctional lieutenant whom approached us and said that he had no problem with us filming the institution as long as we stayed off of state property. He obviously knew the law better than the sergeant.
Now despite the fact that we had already been informed that it was OK for us to film the institution, more correctional officers begin to arrive on the scene. Apparently not knowing what to make of us. they all stood around in the hot California sun trying to think of something that they could pin on us. Of course they couldn’t and so all they could do was stand around looking stupid.
So we make our way to the edge of the prison while being followed by correctional officers. This is when local enforcement arrives. Now keep in mind that earlier the lieutenant informed us that it was OK to film the institution. Well, with that being the case, why were the cops called? Normally when people call the police on somebody it is because they suspect that the person has done something wrong. But we hadn’t done anything wrong. The reality of the situation is that these ignorant overpaid correctional officers didn’t like the fact that we had a right to do what we were doing, which was exercising our right to film in public, and they couldn’t do anything about it but make asses of themselves. Maybe they thought that by calling the police it would somehow intimidate us and we’d leave. Instead the local cops ended up educating these ignorant correctional officers about the law concerning filming in public.
At one point a deputy from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department approached us and offered us some water. Mighty kind of him I must say. We all chatted for a bit and the deputy said that he knew that we were exercising our rights. But there was something else that he acknowledged.
Then the deputy even acknowledged that correctional officers don’t always know all the laws. Amen. I feel that this is very important being I have been making this claim for sometime now. But here is my question. Why are these correctional officers so quick to tell us that we are not allowed to film the institution if they are not aware of what the law is concerning this type of matter? I guess they must think that is OK for them to assume that it is. Well, it is not and the behavior of these officers of the California Department Of Corrections and Rehabilitation was completely unprofessional and their conduct was very unbecoming. But then again it only takes a high school diploma/GED and a clean background to become a correctional officer in California. So what can you expect from a bunch of under educated ignoramuses?
I would like to ask that after reviewing this you write to the warden of the California Rehabilitation Center and suggest that she better educate her officers on the First Amendment. Thanks for reading. Until next time may the Cop Blocking be with you. Happy trails.