January 6 political prisoner who was recently released from the D.C. jail, said that he was not allowed to shave or get a haircut unless he took the COVID vaccine—a requirement that appears to be an abuse of the Constitution since the experimental vaccines are approved for emergency use only.
Jerrod Sessler, a congressional candidate from Washington, and his teenage son were shooting a video outside the “Deplorable Jail” about the Jan. 6 political prisoners, when Karl Dresch, a Michigan man who was detained for “parading” with an American flag inside the Capitol, approached him and agreed to be interviewed.
Sessler began by asking Dresch about the vaccine coercion, which the newly released prisoner had apparently mentioned before camera started rolling.
“One of the things you said was that they wouldn’t let you get a shave or get a haircut unless you took the vaccine?” Sessler asked.
“Yes sir,” the bearded Dresch replied. He went on to tell the candidate that he had refused to get the vaccine.
Dresch said he was arrested on January 19, “bounced around Michigan for a little bit,” and was moved to a jail Oklahoma City, before being transferred to the D.C. gulag on March 9. He was released on August 8 after striking a plea deal with government prosecutors.
He said the conditions in the jail were “kinda dirty,” the food “not too good,” and until recently, inmates were locked in their cells “almost all day.” That changed after a handful of conservative Republicans—Reps Matt Gaetz R-Fla.) , Marjorie Taylor-Greene (R-Ga.), Bob Good (R-Va.), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and Louis Gohmert (R-Tex.)—attempted to tour the facility on July 29, and were denied admittance.
The lawmakers were initially allowed in the entrance way, and given masks, but after waiting for about seven minutes, an officer accused them of trespassing and locked them out.
“Recently they let us out a little bit more, but for months it was just an hour a day,” Dresch explained.
“It sounds like, as a result of them coming out here last week, it sounds like conditions improved a little bit inside … you started getting a little bit more time outside your cell?” Sessler asked.
“Yeah, they’re letting us out for up to five hours now,” Dresch replied. “But it took them a long time.”
He went on to note that four lawyers were barred from visiting their clients the same day the lawmakers were denied access to the facility, even though the booklet the prison hands out to inmates says lawyers are supposed to have 24/7 access to their clients.
“But it’s not like that,” he said. “They have to set up an appointment, and sometimes it gets denied. It can’t be in person unless you get the vaccine.”
Dresch told Sessler that “it’s really hard to put a defense together for a lot of guys” because they don’t have access to their attorneys.
“Sometimes it feels like judges are just making up their own laws to keep people in,” he said.
He went on to say that although he never experienced abuse from the guards, he knew of prisoners who did.
“There’s one gentleman in there, Jacob Lang, I saw him get sprayed with mace, and he wasn’t doing anything threatening,” Sessler said. “He was in his cell.”
The lawyer for another detainee, last week, appealed to Amnesty International and the American Civil Liberties Union seeking an investigation into the way his client and four other “January Sixers” were treated in the jail.
The attorney, Joseph D. McBride of New York City, said conditions in the facility are “disgusting.”
“To put it mildly the facility is disgusting. Black mold, brown drinking water, and poor ventilation are but a few of the problems with the facility itself,” McBride wrote. “The way that staff treats the detainees is brutal and denies them their civil rights. If a detainee speaks up, the guards lock everyone down. If a lawyer speaks out against the jail or the government, the guards lock everyone down. And when the jail really wants to punish, it uses COVID-19 as a cover to lock everyone down for weeks at a time. This means, at best, detainees have one hour each day out of their cells to attend to their personal needs.”
McBride said his client, Richard “Bigo” Barnett, 61, of Gravette, Arkansas, was “slammed into a concrete floor, threatened, kept in solitary confinement and denied prompt medical treatment when he thought he was having a heart attack.”
In his “emergency request” to Amnesty International and the ACLU, McBride called the facility “DC-GITMO,” a reference to the U.S. military detention camp for Islamic terrorists, in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.