MIAMI — A group of lawyers and rapper Kodak Black’s mother called a Wednesday news conference at a Miami federal prison to talk about what they claim is the Pompano Beach rapper’s mistreatment inside.
Instead, they wound up talking more about Kodak Black not being inside — but, rather, on a 1,000-mile bus ride to another federal prison.
Attorneys Benjamin Crump, Devon Jacob and Sue-Ann Robinson said prison officials told them the inmate, also known as Bill Kapri, had been put on a bus to a facility in Kentucky about an hour before they arrived.
The attorneys and Kapri’s mother, Marcelene Simmons, said they hadn’t been able to see him in weeks.
Jacob said he emailed and called the Bureau of Prisons beforehand to tell them he was coming.
“They knew we were coming out here, they knew we were doing this today,” Jacob said. “Their refusal to let him see his counsel is, in and of itself, a constitutional violation.”
Simmons wailed, “I want to make sure my son is OK! I don’t want my son to die. If they kill my son, I’ll kill myself, too. Please someone help me.”
Kapri, 22, was arrested at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens right before he was to perform at the Rolling Loud music festival in May. He was charged with lying on a background form when he purchased three handguns at a Hialeah weapons store.
In November, Kapri was sentenced to 3 years and 10 months in prison on weapons charges. Kapri first publicly spoke about his alleged prison abuse at the Federal Detention Center in mid-December. Simmons said she tried to see him a few days before Christmas, but, she said, BOP officers accused her of having contraband (Simmons denies having anything on her) and wouldn’t let her see Kapri.
“They don’t want my son happy,” Simmons said. “That’s why they won’t let me see him.”
The attorneys say any civil rights lawsuit remains in a holding pattern because they haven’t seen their client yet.
When the Miami Herald asked the Federal Bureau of Prisons about Kapri’s allegations last week, it declined to comment but did say “the Bureau of Prisons has an Administrative Remedy Program for inmates to seek formal review and redress of almost any concern they have regarding their incarceration.”
The Herald also tried to speak to the employees, but got no response from the Federal Detention Center.
Kapri’s first tell-all on his alleged prison abuse was on Instagram. He gave his side of the story on what happened during a fight in the prison in October.
An assistant U.S. attorney and an FBI agent said Kapri fought with a corrections officer, got pepper-sprayed, and squeezed the guard’s testicles to the point where his abdomen and intestinal wall were breached.
Kapri said he was “laced with an unknown substance.” After an out-of-body experience and feeling like being possessed, he said, he went to the corrections officers’ office for help, but was denied medical attention. Shortly after, he got into a fight with an inmate.
Kapri said the same officer who denied him medical attention pepper-sprayed him, which made him “oblivious to who was punching and grabbing me repeatedly in the face.”
He was continually beaten on the floor and was gasping for air as he tried to tell them to stop, he said.
“This near death experience felt like dogs were tearing at my skin while they were grabbing and beating me while I was under the influence of this unknown substance …,” Kapri said. “I was beaten so brutally that I had to be taken to the Box (solitary confinement) in a wheelchair. I have been here for 45 days without commissary, hygiene stressed out and on psych meds.”
In two more lengthy tell-all Instagram posts earlier this month, Kapri shared more instances of his alleged abuse by the detention center.
He blamed two center employees for being vindictive toward him, saying they falsified reports and tampered with his phone and visitation privileges. Two days before Christmas, he said he was denied a visit from his mother.
“Not only does my incoming mail take an average of a month to get to me but they are messing with my outgoing mail as well. My family hasn’t received none of my letters for the holidays. Which is borderline cruel and unethical,” the post said.
Kapri also said one day he was given an empty tray for breakfast. He tried to bring it up with detention center employees but nothing was done.
Kapri isn’t the only one who has alleged abuse by prisons run under the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Florida.
Fourteen women, ranging in age from 30 to 56, are suing the United States over abuse they say they’ve endured at Coleman Federal Correctional Complex, a Bureau of Prisons-operated camp in Sumter County near Wildwood.
They say for years, male officers sexually harassed and assaulted inmates. Some of the accused corrections officers have resigned or taken early retirement.
One of the abuse incidents shared in the lawsuit involved a female inmate assigned to the kitchen who was given special tasks that kept her late, until she was alone. Then the supervising officer would rape her.
Shocked by the Herald report on the lawsuit detailing allegations of systemic sexual abuse at Coleman, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio urged the Bureau of Prisons to conduct a thorough review of the prison camp.
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PHOTO (for help with images, contact 312-222-4194): Kodak Black