Kodak Black’s family is preparing a lawsuit against the Bureau of Prisons for allegedly violating inmates’ civil rights and failing to address the inhumane conditions within the facilities. Kodak’s mother, Marlene Simmons, hired accomplished attorney Benjamin Crump, who previously represented Trayvon Martin’s family in their case against George Zimmerman. It’s important to note that although American prisoners do not have full constitutional rights, they are protected by the U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment which explicitly prohibits against cruel and unusual punishment. This protection also requires that prisoners be afforded a minimum standard of living. As witness recently in the case of Mississippi prisoners the 8th Amendment is not always upheld (read more about that here).
In case you haven’t been keeping up with Kodak Black (legal name: Bill Kapri), the South Florida-bred rapper has been complaining constantly about being harassed by correctional officers who he claims are seeking to “kill” him (see here and here).
Attorney Crump states that Kodak’s family has become increasingly concerned about his well-being while in a Miami federal prison after the above-mentioned statements were put out by Kodak.
One post stated,
“Lieutenant F. Arroyo has been very vindictive towards me and I have a strong feeling it has something to do with me being set up, laced, bruised and brutally beaten two weeks before my court date. There is a big conspiracy going on in this building on Me. Santiago Torres is using her position wrongfully in Miami FDC and is abusing her authority. She has been writing falsified incident reports on me, to take phone privileges that I get once a week while in solitary. Also, doing anything to take my gain time so that I come home literally when I am supposed to.”
Kodak also says his girlfriend was taken off of his visitation list in addition to being denied visitation from his mother. The rapper further claimed he was given an empty tray meal on New Year’s Eve.
To make matters more confusing, Kodak’s family was recently informed that the rapper was transferred to a federal prison in Kentucky after going to visit him this past Wednesday (1/22). Whether or not his prison transfer is related solely to alleged harassment from the C/O’s has yet to be determined.
Crump addressed the situation in a press conference, stating,
“We believe they intentionally moved him, so he couldn’t meet with his attorneys… [Simmons] wants to make sure that while he’s in their custody, that he doesn’t end up dead, so she is very concerned as well as all of her family that these allegations are to be taken seriously.”
Kodak’s lawyer also addressed instances of abuse, stating, “When you have these instances of under funding and understaffed, well that makes prison’s dangerous. So, if other inmates attack [Simmons’] son, who is a well known person, there are supposed to be guards who can handle a crisis situation.”
As My Religion Is Rap has highlighted in past articles, celebrity inmates routinely become high-risk for potentially becoming targets of abuse at the hands of fellow inmates and C/O’s, whether it be for the purpose of gaining a reputation in jail for taking out the celebrity or for the sake of eventually suing the person.
We’ll have more on this matter as the details become available. Catch the video below of Benjamin Crump addressing the matter.