FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 18, 2022
Lauren Regan, Executive Director & Senior Staff Attorney
Chava Shapiro, Engagement Specialist
Imprisoned Anti-racist Activist Eric King Acquitted of New Charges
Denver, CO — On March 18th, a jury acquitted anti-racist and anti-fascist political prisoner Eric King on the count of “assaulting” a federal officer. CLDC is overjoyed at the return of a not guilty verdict from the jury. After hearing hours of compelling testimony from King himself, the jurors were rightly convinced of his constitutionally protected rights to defend himself against threat of death or bodily injury, even when that threat came from a corrections officer at the Bureau of Prisons.
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.
CLDC executive director, Lauren Regan was thrilled with the verdict, stating “on behalf of the entire CLDC team, we are thankful for the trust and friendship that Eric King shared with us and we feel fortunate for the privilege to defend him and to work with his family and community in order to bring justice to light within the confines of the federal Bureau of Prisons. This was a long and arduous battle against State power, and we are appreciative for the jury’s earnest deliberation.”
“When Eric made the decision to fight back against these trumped-up charges of assault brought against him, he made the choice to extend the same values of anti-racism and anti-fascism that moved him to act in 2014 in solidarity with the uprisings in Ferguson, Missouri,” said Josh Davidson, a member of the Eric King Support Committee. 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.
This outcome is even more momentous given the government’s fierce opposition to King’s courageous efforts to tell the world about his plight and that of others held in custody.
Despite this victory, the obstacles he continues to face are immense. The BOP and the U.S. Government continue to hold him in some of the most inhumane conditions throughout the system, with only 40 federal prisoners held in solitary confinement for more than a year (Eric King has been held in solitary for more than three years).
CLDC will continue to fight alongside Eric King for justice for himself and others. In May 2021 we 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 have collaborated with each other, and with white supremacist prisoners, to target, harass, and assault King.
“The truth prevailed today,” said Lauren Regan.
We are heartened by the continued resilience and strength of King’s certitude. He is scheduled for release in 2023 and will continue to rely upon outside supporters to make it through. You can learn more about ways to directly support him during his remaining sentence by visiting supportericking.org.
The Civil Liberties Defense Center supports movements that seek to dismantle the political and economic structures at the root of social inequality and environmental destruction.