Prison Radio
Mumia Abu-Jamal

“Death in the Infirmary.”

It’s been less than a week, and the news about Reds is still circulating around the prison. “Hey man! Did you hear about Reds?” “Yeah, man, it was that Big Red or Little Red?” “I don’t know, man.”

For the record, the man called Little Reds wasn’t so much little as he was shorter in height than Big Reds. And his birth name was Tyrone Briggs: medium height but more muscled than Big Reds.

He was closing in on his minimum of 15 years, a sentence he was serving since he was a juvenile at 16 years old. He will never reach his minimum, however, because prison guards shot him with a capsicum—or pepper-spiked—gel. And the foam in that gel choked him to death by inflammation, perhaps, of his mucus membranes. You see, Reds was asthmatic.

Tyrone Reds Briggs was 29 years old. He loved playing sports. He loved acting up. He leaves behind a daughter and a mother in Philadelphia.

Since the incident at SCI Mahanoy’s infirmary, several guards have been suspended. According to several accounts, his last words were “I can’t breathe.”

From imprisoned nation, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal.

These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.