Unicorn Riot, “Coverage of the Trial of Political Prisoner Eric King”

March 18, 2022

Background

On August 17, 2018, a violent encounter between political prisoner Eric King and Lieutenant Donald Wilcox took place at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Florence in Colorado. Allegedly earlier that morning, an officer was assaulted by an inmate, and King sent an e-mail to his wife mentioning it. According to Wilcox, he wanted to interview King because the e-mail concerned him and he thought King may pose as a threat to the prison staff. When King arrived outside the lieutenants’ offices, Wilcox says he escorted King to a “vacant office adjacent to the offices occupied by other lieutenants.”

Alternatively, King says while he was standing in the hallway waiting for Wilcox, Lieutenant Jeffrey Kammrad and Wilcox both came out of the captain’s office and told King to follow them, leading him to a mop closet.

What happened next is at the core of this trial, and what’s under heavy dispute. Wilcox alleges that King punched him in the face after he asked King about the e-mail. However King claims Wilcox brought him to the closet, knowing there was no video surveillance, to yell at him, shove him and punch him twice. King admits he punched Wilcox, but only in self-defense after he was attacked.

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