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Jun-11-2012 08:10printcommentsVideo

Aiding a Very Important Oregon Whistleblower

Former guard's reputable findings would be key in driving corruption from Oregon prisons.

William Coleman
William Coleman photographed in front of the Marion County Courthouse in Salem, by Dexter Phoenix Salem-News.com

(SALEM) - For those who are familiar with this ongoing Oregon Civil Rights saga, know that Mr. William Coleman has one last case; a final opportunity to regain some form of lost income and while he struggles to meet the ongoing costs associated with this law suit, he maintains his role as a prison inmate advocate who has not forgotten the conditions these men, all Black, are serving under.

I have written many articles about this, the links are at the bottom of this entry, and I have also produced a number of video reports about Mr. Coleman and his co-advocates. These articles have led to a great deal of response which is encouraging. Watching Mr. Coleman go through the constant expenses that are involved with the case(s) has been hard, because he invests so much and he is now approaching his final chance for compensation.

Because people do care and also respect his ability to progress with all of this in the face of so much adversity, I suggested that William set up a method for people to contribute to his cause and help offset legal costs. It is not just for Mr. Coleman; as he represents the face of Civil Rights here, and his victories, directly affect the population and dignity of this state.

The biggest issue right now, is that Mr. Coleman is struggling; he is dealing with a number of prisoner rights issues at all times; his legal costs, the eternal outpouring of money for certified letters, copies, it all adds up very quickly. Please make a donation to Mr. Coleman's legal fund. You can do this by sending a check or money order to:

William Coleman Legal Fund
PO Box 17383
Salem, Or 97305

You can also make a PayPal donation which is quick, safe and simple. Simply visit www.PayPal.com, and dispatch your payment to:
williamcoleman53@yahoo.com

We have been working on this case with Mr. Coleman for years. Never in the past has he needed help and we are only doing it because he had to switch lawyers in mid-case, again due to a financial burden. Please, let's not sit back and let this opportunity for William go in vain. Mr. Coleman is also seeking a new lawyer, my email address is below.

Background

Whistleblowers around the world are finding power in unity and the Internet serves as a connecting point for those who suffer retaliation for their honesty.

Our news agency has increasingly solidified its reputation in following these stories and a central person on a local level, is William Coleman, a former Oregon Corrections Officer who exposed racism and hate crimes in the Oregon prison system and suffered a domino-like type of retaliation.

He was the first man to take this system of corruption on since former Oregon Corrections Chief Michael Francke, who came to Oregon to clean up prison corruption, only to be murdered; his stabbed and bleeding body 'discovered' at the entrance to the 'dome building' in Salem, the agency's headquarters on Center Street. This happened more than two decades ago.

As you can see from the links below, a whole series of stories came to life here, from Mr. Coleman's experience in attempting to seek justice. It is a story that grabs you by the heart and refuses to let go.

William Coleman in 2010. Photo: Tim King

I have written before, that William Coleman may be the single most honest person I have ever known; his belief system is unquestionably fair and his integrity is highly measurable.

Oregon officials did everything in their power to defeat and ruin Mr. Coleman for his exposure of serious federal violations in the prison system; yet only succeeded in laying ruin to his financial well being. This, the state Attorney General's (AG) office ensured, when he finally was able to take the state to task for their acts against him.

Mr. Coleman lost a civil case because the state used a witness who is a convicted pedophile and repeat domestic violence offender. Judge Tom Hart refused to allow the jury to know this man's highly documented criminal past. Would that have worked the other way around?

The attorney representing Mr. Coleman made decisions during the civil trial that struck those watching the proceedings as counterproductive, agreeing to things he should not have, etc. Then shortly after losing Mr. Coleman's case, Kevin Lafkey was temporarily disbarred by the Oregon Bar Association. It speaks volumes to my point, I believe.

Prison Employment

Shortly after William Coleman was hired as a corrections officer at the Oregon State Penitentiary (OSP), he began identifying patterns of criminal activity carried out routinely by the prison staff.

This included sexual relationships between inmate and guards, officials bribing inmates, and brazen forms of racism that were a matter of policy, like searching only African-American inmates for extra food when chicken is served, and not Caucasian inmates.

In one event, the prison played the movie 'Downfall' about the final days of Adolph Hitler which caused extreme racial tension, particularly for the prison's Jewish inmates. It was viewed as an antisemitic act by those same Jewish prisoners.

As these events took place, Mr. Coleman observed and reported, that was his job. However in spite of his diligent efforts; repeatedly reported illegal acts to prison officials... no action was taken.

For example, he reported an inmate's threat to stab another inmate to officials; his reports were disregarded and the threatened inmate was stabbed, almost fatally.

Mr. Coleman reported many crimes that were carried out by state officials and to this day, those reputable findings that would be key in cleaning the corruption from Oregon prisons have been flatly ignored.

Documentary Will Recount Terrence Kimble's Story of Racial Injustice in Oregon

I recently conducted an extensive interview with William Coleman, about one of the inmates who testified in court on his behalf, when the criminal case against him for 'cigarette smuggling' went to court. Terrence Kimble is the only one of three inmates that Coleman's own attorney allowed to testify on Coleman's behalf. Kimble is serving a 19-year sentence for Sex Abuse in a case that is more than bizarre.

Kimble was convicted on hearsay for a crime against his stepdaughter, who reportedly told a friend Kimble had raped her. The police arrested Kimble, beating him severely during the arrest, and took the girl to the hospital. Doctors interviewed and examined the teenager and she told them she had not been raped. A physical exam determined that the girl was intact, had never engaged in sex, and had no bruising or any other sign of physical trauma. Most amazingly, there was a DNA test and no match with Mr. Kimble.

Still, he was convicted in Lane County, Oregon, in the city of Eugene, and given almost 20 year for a crime that neither he, nor anyone else had committed. Our documentary examines this story in detail and will be released on local Oregon TV channels and also on YouTube.

These include:

  • Guards' complicity in crimes of racial intolerance
  • Racial harassment of inmates, including mail tampering
  • Contraband smuggling of all types
  • Failure to address inmate injuries
  • Mental Abuse of inmates
  • Orchestrating inmate on inmate assaults
  • Bribery
  • Extortion
  • Attempted Murder

These are all crimes that were reported by Mr. Coleman during his time of employment at Oregon State Penitentiary and only highlights some of the more serious allegations.

State Hospital Employment

He eventually resigned his position as a corrections officer with Oregon's Dept of Corrections (DOC) and was hired as a security guard with the Oregon State Hospital made famous in the Jack Nicholson film, 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'.

That started out well, but a few weeks into his training period, Coleman and another African-American security guard with the state hospital were patrolling the historic Lee Cemetery which borders the state hospital grounds, when they observed a man acting erratically. A grown man was according to Coleman, "bunny hopping a kid's BMX bike over the cemetery grave stones". This made Coleman and his partner nervous. They watched the suspect on the bike acting in a bizarre manner, and then he suddenly rode up to them.

Oregon fought Coleman's case for compensation, using a wife-beating criminal

State witness Salazar, wearing a 'wife beater'

Coleman describes the incident very simply: he and the other guard, Charles Gregory, were unarmed, in an unmarked sedan. Both stated that the man on the kid's bicycle was wearing a hoodie that mostly obscured his face.

Both say he reached inside of his waist band and they suddenly realized that he did know they were security guards, and it appeared that he was pulling out a gun. Coleman opened his door and slammed his radio on the hood of their car acting as if he too was armed, when he was not... and the suspect on the bike rode away.

But then Joe Salazar did the most bizarre thing.

He called 911 and told Salem Police that two Black men in the Lee cemetery were in a car, one giving the other a 'blow job'. Salem Police officer Waymon Hubbard personally responded to the call and was completely and only on the side of Salazar.

Let's talk about this miscreant for a moment.

I have personally spoken to Salem officers about what a piece of crap this guy is. He has beaten his wife senseless repeatedly and has threatened the lives of she and the children they have together. He was convicted for a sex crime with a minor- child rape. We can only speculate that as a criminal sex offender, Salazar's fixation on deviant sexuality may have led to his accusation against the state officers. Perhaps it was all he could think of.

The fact that he was the state's witness against Coleman is an abomination of justice and almost standard game plan for this state.

Joe Salazar Jr. of Salem, Oregon, is a dangerous Salem criminal who faced a new set of charges for attacking and beating his wife, after the state decided to use him as their star witness. His record shows he is a lifetime wife beater. From there it gets worse. As the reports indicate, this is a man who has maintained a vicious cycle of abuse toward females. The Salem officer, Waymon Hubbard, took Salazar's side and described the extremely honest Mr. Coleman as "the worst suspect he's ever dealt with" and that is the most ridiculous statement I have ever heard uttered in court. It is terrible and it is untrue. Yet there are no repercussions for him, only Coleman.

This is a recent case against Oregon's 'credible' witness

We already knew that he had a serious record. The simple fact is that this man who officials took so seriously was a tool in a bitter game of racist persecution. It is hard to see how any other scenario would account for the sequence of events that occurred.

The debasing testimony of convict Joe Salazar was used to devastate the lives of two Black men who were not allowed to have credibility in the eyes of a Salem Police officer - yet should have. As a fellow law enforcement officer, Officer Waymon Hubbard should have been professional with them, but he wasn't. Hubbard would not even tell Coleman his name during the 'investigation' at the cemetery and the jury heard this.

The report below tells a story of a man who has been, according to witness testimony and related convictions, a marauding woman beater who frequently threatens children.

From a 1993 report filed against Salazar by his wife.

In addition to the domestic abuse cited above, we knew he had served time in prison for sex crimes with a minor; we just didn't know why on earth Salem Police and the Statesman Journal chose to use this man's non credible statements about "two black men having sex in a car" to fry the reputation of William Coleman and Charles Gregory, whose lives were turned upside down by Salazar's accusations. For a long time Coleman says, everywhere he went, people began whispering amongst themselves when he approached.

Media Complicity

From: Demonstrators Protest Local Newspaper Over Racism

Salem's daily newspaper, the Statesman Journal, made the wild accusations of a seemingly twisted criminal seem credible, and they brought Salazar's ridiculous accusation against Coleman and his partner out into full public view, just in case anyone in Salem didn't know about it. Their 'coverage' of this criminal Salazar, a volunteer cemetery gatekeeper, might deserve a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most poorly sourced article in history. It certainly was geared to underscore the paper's willingness to be as dishonest as the corrupt state officials trying all of this time to defeat William Coleman's pursuit of honest and justice.

Mr. Coleman was fired from the Oregon State Hospital over this incident at the cemetery. A convicted, violent pedophile's word was used to dismiss a man from gainful employment. William Coleman has never been convicted of a crime in his life, and he is a graduate of our local police academy. He is an honorable man who has been treated less than honorably throughout his ordeal without deserving it.

He would later learn that the Salem officer filed his report of the incident as a 'non crime', yet Hubbard took the report to the state prison and showed it to Coleman's former colleagues there. It was all an apparent attempt to slander his character and little else. People could suggest that it wasn't tied to his exposure of crimes at the prison, but by every logical conclusion it was, or Hubbard would never have taken the police report to OSP.

Though Hubbard was able to show it to people immediately, it took many days for William Coleman to finally receive a copy of the police report that led to his dismissal. Throughout the ordeal at the cemetery, he never knew he was identified for being part of a sex act. Hubbard never told him. Salazar was able to make all of that work, perhaps Hubbard was simply planning it from the beginning. Both Mr. Coleman and his training partner are heterosexual by every account; both were married, and both had their lives ruined by Salazar's unfounded accusation. They were both fired initially but only Coleman was not hired back later.

Whistleblower Retaliation

William Coleman & Charles Gregory at an NAACP
meeting. Two very straight men accused of taking part in
a homosexual sex act; the efforts of Salem Police and state
officials to discredit them, is extraordinary.
Salem-News.com photo by Dexter Phoenix

The story does not end there. It was at this point, after reporting crimes in the prison, and then being identified as a homosexual and fired, that Coleman hit that point where he had taken enough abuse.

A few days later he filed a wrongful termination discrimination lawsuit over the state hospital incident, and then that same afternoon, the Marion County District Attorney filed a 15 count felony indictment against William Coleman. He was arrested and the deputies treated him in a humiliating manner.

They alleged that he smuggled cigarettes when he worked at OSP as a prison guard and he faced 40 years if convicted.

40 years!

To even make Oregon's case more comical, they used white racist inmates and contacts as 'witnesses' in their criminal case against Coleman. Forced to use a public defender due to his compromised financial state, Coleman subpoenaed three Black inmates to tell the story of what was actually taking place in the prison. Though all three were extradited for the trial, his own public defender only allowed Coleman to call one of his witnesses.

Still, Coleman's single witness, Terrence Kimble, told the jury what had taken place; that Coleman never broke any rules and that those bringing the case against him were in fact guilty of what they charged him with.

William Coleman was found Not Guilty on all counts, he was fully vindicated. He had not committed the crimes he was accused of by the state of Oregon.

Judge Tom Hart Heard William Coleman's civil case.
He allowed a violent wife-beating pedophile to testify
against Coleman, on behalf of Salem Police and the state
DOJ, without informing the jury of the man's terrible,
non-credible past. It was a double standard of the century,
and never would have been allowed as credible testimony,
had the defendant not been the state of Oregon.

However later in civil court, when it was time for Oregon to pay Coleman for what they had put him through, Oregon portrayed the case as if Coleman was guilty and Judge Hart allowed this.

Several months later, William Coleman had his day in court, to recover financial damages for his wrongful dismissal from the state hospital. The state of Oregon, which failed to convict him in criminal court, presented their case as though they had convicted him.

Lawyers with the Oregon DOJ had an Oregon State Police trooper testify that he had been part of the "investigation" against Coleman, all the while causing the jury to believe that he was an unsavory character; who had been investigated for crime...

Coleman deserved to be treated as an innocent man.

He was falsely charged and labored hard to prove that he was innocent and had a unanimous jury verdict stating that he was innocent. The state caused the jury to believe that Mr. Coleman had somehow miraculously escaped being prosecuted.

This is double jeopardy, according to the five policy considerations that underpin the double jeopardy doctrine; because the state arbitrarily ignored an unsatisfactory outcome.

Mr. William Coleman has one last case; a final opportunity to regain some form of lost income and while he struggles to meet the ongoing costs associated with this law suit, he maintains his role as a prison inmate advocate who has not forgotten the conditions these men, all Black, are serving under.

I have written many articles about this and also produced a number of video reports about Mr. Coleman and his co-advocates. These articles have led to a great deal of response which is encouraging.

Watching Mr. Coleman go through the constant expenses that are involved with the case(s) has been hard, because he invests so much and he is now approaching his final chance for compensation. Because people do care and also respect his ability to progress with all of this in the face of so much adversity, I suggested that William set up a method for people to contribute to his cause and help offset legal costs. It is not just for Mr. Coleman; as he represents the face of Civil Rights here, and his victories, directly affect the population and dignity of this state.

The biggest issue right now, is that Mr. Coleman is struggling; he is dealing with a number of prisoner rights issues at all times; his legal costs, the eternal outpouring of money for certified letters, copies, it all adds up very quickly. Please make a donation to Mr. Coleman's legal fund. You can do this by sending a check or money order to:

William Coleman Legal Fund
PO Box 17383
Salem, Or 97305

You can also make a PayPal donation which is quick, safe and simple. Simply dispatch your payment to:
williamcoleman53@yahoo.com

Let's not sit back and let this opportunity for William go in vain.

__________________________________________________________________
Previous articles about Oregon's prisons:

May-04-2012:Dying Prisoner with Hepatitis C Calls Oregon Out for Denying Medical Treatment
Apr-03-2012: White Men Can Dance
Mar-22-2012: Mother's Wish to see Son Exonerated Not Granted Before her Death - Tim King Salem-News.com
Mar-26-2012: Oregon Judge: State 'Stuck their neck out' for Son of DA Who Raped 13-Year Old - Tim King Salem-News.com
Feb-27-2012: Retracted and Redacted- A Comparison of Two Oregon 'Criminals' - Tim King Salem-News.com
Jan-19-2012: Housing Inmates Who Make Death Threats... with their Intended Victims - Tim King Salem-News.com
Dec-19-2011: Does Oregon's Government Simply Hate Black People? - Tim King Salem-News.com
Jul-27-2011: DNA Evidence Should Free Oregon Inmate Terrence Kimble from Prison
May-04-2011 Is There An Oregon Attorney Who Cares About Civil Rights?Tim King Salem-News.com
May-31-2011: Snitch Sheets, Unresolved Murder and Severe Tobacco Crimes - Tim King Salem-News.com
Mar-10-2011: Reader Commentary: Can Oregon Government Change its Spots? - Salem-News.com
Mar-10-2011: Civil Rights Case in Salem Demonstrates the Power of a 911 Call - Tim King Salem-News.com
Mar-09-2011: Civil Rights Under the Gavel of Justice - Tim King Salem-News.com
Mar-08-2011: Oregon State Hospital and Staff Member Face Racism Charges Over Employee Termination - Tim King Salem-News.com
Mar-04-2011: How Far will Oregon Legal Officials go to Prevent Due Process? - Tim King Salem-News.com
Dec-27-2010: The 'Trickle Down' Effect of Whistleblower Retaliation - Tim King Salem-News.com
Dec-01-2010: Oregon Political Prisoner Being Stripped of Phone Use - Tim King Salem-News.com
Nov-25-2010: Tim King and Ruth Kovacs on KBOO's Prison Pipeline (AUDIO) - Salem-News.com
Nov-22-2010: Tim King on KBOO FM's Prison Pipeline Tonight - Salem-News.com
Nov-16-2010: Federal Mail Tampering at Oregon State Prison? - Tim King Salem-News.com
Oct-29-2010: A Witness With No Credibility - Tim King Salem-News.com
Oct-27-2010: Inmate's Life Threatened by Staff at SRCI - Tim King Salem-News.com
Oct-21-2010: Oregon Inmate Stabbing Victim Attacked Second Time - Tim King Salem-News.com
Sep-10-2010: Demonstrators Call Oregon State Hospital's Employment Practices Racist, Unacceptable - Tim King Salem-News.com
Aug-28-2010: Observations on Michael Francke's Murder, Frank Gable's Conviction, & the paid Confession of 'Shorty' Harden - Salem-News.com
Aug-25-2010: Whistleblower Blues: Man in the Hole - Tim King Salem-News.com
Aug-11-2010: Demonstrators Protest Local Newspaper Over Racism - Tim King Salem-News.com
Aug-05-2010: Evidence Shows Oregon Inmate Was Falsely Convicted - Tim King Salem-News.com
Aug-03-2010: Chicken Night at the Oregon State Penitentiary - Tim King Salem-News.com
Jul-21-2010: Eyes on the Oregon State Prison: Voicing Concern for an Inmate's Life - Tim King Salem-News.com
Jul-14-2010: State Prison Whistleblower Says Oregon Corrections is Blocking Federal Mail - Tim King Salem-News.com
Jul-05-2010: A Denial of Civil Rights- Oregon's Collaboration in Racism Whistleblower Retaliation - Tim King Salem-News.com
Jun-26-2010: Getting Refamiliarized with the Murder of Michael Francke - Tim King Salem-News.com
Jun-23-2010: Local Media Downplayed Former Prison Guard's Struggle Against Racism - Tim King Salem-News.com
Jun-18-2010: Exposé: Skeletons Falling Out of the Closet of Oregon Corrections - Tim King Salem-News.com
Jun-17-2010: Scott McAlister: Child Porn-Related Conviction and Practicing Law - Tim King Salem-News.com

_________________________________________________________

Tim King in 2008, covering the Iraq War

Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer

Tim King has more than twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines. Tim is a former U.S. Marine.

Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Silver Spoke Award by the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (2011), Excellence in Journalism Award by the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs (2010), Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), First-place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Tim was a member of the National Press Photographer's Association for several years and is a current member of the Orange County Press Club.

Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 102 Salem-News.com writers. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can write to Tim at this address: tim@salem-news.com. Visit Tim's Facebook page (facebook.com/TimKing.Reporter)




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Anonymous January 17, 2014 10:26 pm (Pacific time)

salem-news.com/articles/january112014/corruption-petition-ns.php


John Atkins August 14, 2013 7:25 am (Pacific time)

Tim, did this man ever connect with an ex-corrections officer named Willie Fisher? Don't know if Willie is still alive, but he used to live in North Keizer several years ago. And, as far as I know, has lived in Oregon all of his life. Willie was last working as a security guard.

John I am not sure, William will have to fill us in...


Lynn July 17, 2012 3:53 pm (Pacific time)

It's too bad good people that see injustice won't consider pooling together to fight the good fight of JUSTICE FOR ALL!


amandablack June 13, 2012 3:50 pm (Pacific time)

Anyone who exposes corruption in the system, regardless of prison or other state entity, (like judicial abuse by lawyers and judges) will face the same domino effect like retaliation.


Jeff Madison June 11, 2012 6:59 pm (Pacific time)

Shame on the state of Oregon this is injustice to the extreme. I hope William Coleman continues his fight for justice. Mr. Coleman needs our help.


Larry Johnson June 11, 2012 6:53 pm (Pacific time)

Mr. Coleman keep your head up and fight for justice. i believe you will be rewarded for all you've lost.


Jack June 11, 2012 6:36 pm (Pacific time)

Mr. Coleman need our help. This man has been through Hell and back.


Micheal Johnson June 11, 2012 6:31 pm (Pacific time)

Wow!! It's hard to believe this is happening in this day and time.  A corrupted system in Oregon exist without fail!! Mr. Coleman will survive this ordeal, I hope the people who can help Mr. Coleman will help him.


Matt Johnson June 11, 2012 2:29 pm (Pacific time)

I can't imagine a person who could better use our help to win this fight than Mr. Coleman. I sincerely hope people heed the call and ensure that this brave man emerges from the flames victorious.

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