Denver, CO – Today a federal jury returned a Not Guilty verdict in the assault case brought against anarchist political prisoner Eric King by the federal government.
The assault charge against King stems from an August 2018 incident where he physically defended himself after Lieutenant Correctional Officer Donald Wilcox took him into a closet out of view of security cameras and punched him in the face twice as part of a so-called “attitude adjustment.”
After the incident, King was placed into a four-point restraint for over seven hours. Four days later, King was transferred to United States Penitentiary (USP) Leavenworth in Kansas.
After hearing the verdict, King’s legal team at the Civil Liberties Defense Center (CLDC) wrote a statement saying they are “overjoyed.”
“This case was fought not only with the goal of returning King home to his family without any additional years of his life being stolen away, but with the goal of holding the BOP accountable in order to make that place survivable for others by at least shedding light on the secretive system of racism and abuse that has been running rampant within the BOP.”Civil Liberties Defense Center press release
In May 2021, the CLDC filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on King’s behalf under Bivens v. Six Unnamed Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), the Federal Tort Claims Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act, against the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and numerous correctional officers and BOP staff. The complaint alleges that BOP officers collaborated with each other, and with white supremacist prisoners, to target, harass, and assault King.
King is serving a 10-year sentence, with less than two more years left, stemming from an attempted molotov cocktail attack on a congressional office in Kansas City, MO in 2014.
After his sentencing in June 2016, King spoke on the phone to his support crew:
“I stand by my actions. After seeing what happened in Ferguson, so close down the road, I was disgusted by the lack of mobilization in my city. Three hours away people were fighting for their lives and we weren’t even taking to the streets. We were doing nothing. My act as a very personal display of my anger and rage toward the state as well as an act of solidarity to everyone in Ferguson. We never know our own strength until we are tested and even with my ridiculous sentence I feel at least proud to have been able to stand strong and refuse to cooperate with the state.”Eric King
During her rebuttal closing arguments, Assistant U.S. Attorney Valeria Spencer said what King was telling the jury was “that a guard of almost 20 years lost his mind and called him a bitch.” Valeria also said that “to believe the story the defense wants you to believe, you’d have to believe the guards came up with the story together.” Since the jury found Eric King not guilty, they must have at least thought that was a possibility.
“This victory belongs not only to King, but to his family, community of supporters, and most importantly to all those who have fallen victim to the horrific abuses and torture the Bureau of Prisons metes out on a daily basis in facilities across the country.”Civil Liberties Defense Center press release
Unicorn Riot coverage of Political Prisoner Eric King:
- Coverage of the Trial of Political Prisoner Eric King (March 2022)
- Eric King and Supporters Organize Call-in Campaign over Transfer to USP Lee (April 13, 2022)
- Anarchist Prisoner Eric King Found Not Guilty in Assault of Prison Guard (March 18, 2022)
- BOP Blames Bird for Eric King’s Property Destruction During Federal Trial (March 18, 2022)
- Prison Abolition Advocates Rally Outside Federal Prison on NYE (Dec. 31, 2020)
- Eric King Given 10 Year Sentence for Molotov Attack on Empty Govt Building (June 28, 2016)
- Eric King Signs Non-Cooperating Plea Deal (March 3, 2016)