Statement from Wayland Coleman on the events of March 21st

#Deeper Than Water Report

On March 20, 2018, I was called to the administrative building by Captain Andrew Rego. When I got there, Captain Rego threatened me, telling me not to pick up my weekly canteen order, which I was scheduled to pick up the next morning. The reason for the threat—according to Captain Rego—was because I had too much bottled water in my cell, and I had six more cases coming the next morning. The water was purchased legally from the canteen, and they had taken the money out of my account. Canteen sells 16oz. bottles of water for 50¢ per bottle, and there were no limits at the time, on how much water we could purchase, up to the $85 spending cap that we have for weekly canteen orders. I had ordered six cases (24 bottles per case), which cost $72. I was told by Captain Rego, that if I picked up my water, that I would suffer serious consequences.

Different units are called to pick up canteen at different times. I lived in unit 4-1, which picked up canteen on Wednesdays around 10:00AM. On March 21, 2018, shortly after 9:00AM, I was isolated from my unit, and called over to the canteen building alone, ahead of my unit schedule by officer DeOliveira. When I arrived, DeOliveira called me into his office, and demanded that I refuse my purchase of water, and that I only sign for the three bars of soap that was ordered with my water. He told me that if I didn’t sign for the soap, that I would be refusing my entire canteen. I rejected his offer to sign only for my soap, and I told him that I wanted the water that I had purchased. The money for the water was already taken out of my account. DeOliveira demanded that I refuse, and stated that he could not sell me the water, and that I wasn’t allowed to buy anymore.

Considering that he is D.O.C. security staff, and not Keefe canteen staff, I told him that I wanted a written notice stating that he could not sell me water, and a written notice stating that he had the authority to force me to refuse my canteen. He became furious, and told me that he was sending my canteen order back because I had refused, and that was it. I told him that I was not refusing, and that I wanted my canteen order, and he walked away. I left his office and was leaving the building, when a friend—who had also purchased water—asked me to help carry his canteen. I went over and grabbed one of the cases of water. When officer DeOliveira saw me with the case of water, he was in flames, and he began to yell for me to leave the building. I began to leave, and on my way out, I encountered the actual canteen staff person next to the exit door.

I attempted to explain the situation to her, and asked her whether or not the security staff had the authority to force me to refuse my canteen order. She appeared to not know what was going on, and when officer DeOliveira saw me talking to her, he rushed over, and physically attempted to push me out of the door. I looked him in the eyes, and demanded that he not put his hands on me. I left the building and was walking away, and the officer decided to call for a response team. Within seconds, there were about fifteen officers surrounding me. I placed the case of water on the ground, and stood non aggressively with my hands in front of my groin. One of the responding officers, CO Tessier, approached me aggressively. I attempted to explain what was going on, when suddenly, Tessier grabbed me and attempted to toss me to the ground, causing other officers to jump on me. Officer DeOliveira saw an opportunity to vent, and placed me in a guillotine chokehold, cutting off my ability to breathe.

I attempted to yell “I can’t breathe!” but I couldn’t get any words out. I kept attempting to say, “you’re choking me!” but all I heard from the cops who were pinning me down, was, “shut the fuck up.” “Fuck you.” I worried about dying. Even if by mistake. My mind kept asking, are they killing me? DeOliveira was finally ordered to let go, and after that, I was placed in solitary confinement.

On March 22nd, I was issued a disciplinary report for possession of contraband in my cell (the 14 cases of water). The d-report was issued as a category 3 offense. On March 23rd, the d-report was dismissed, and reissued as a category 4 offense, which is the lowest level of offense. By this time, #Deeper Than Water had already began to pound the D.O.C. with concerns and demands. Officer Cortes—after reissuing the category 4 ticket—gave me an opportunity to plead guilty, so that we could “clear this whole thing up.” I refused the offer, since I am not willing to accept that clean drinking water, sold to me via canteen, is contraband. On March 24th, The Boston Globe wrote an article about the water, and my placement in solitary confinement. On March 27th, I was issued a second disciplinary report for the incident at the canteen.

The second disciplinary report, which I received a week later, was the department’s attempt to justify my placement in solitary confinement. It’s embarrassing for the Department of Corrections to be exposed putting someone in solitary confinement for buying clean drinking water for everyone, so DeOliveira had to falsify his report in order to make it look like something else. The Department needs to discredit me somehow. The problem is, I didn’t respond to their use of force with violence. The d-report issued by DeOliveira, shows you the extent that they will go to in order to save face. They can’t just admit that they overreacted.

As of today, April 21, 2018, I’m awaiting two disciplinary hearings, of which no dates have yet been scheduled.[1]

They’ll never place fear in me, because I’m willing to die for what I believe in. I just don’t want to die not fighting back. I don’t want to be one of the ones who submit peacefully, but gets killed anyway.

In the struggle,

Wayland “X” Coleman


[1] Date has since been scheduled for May 1st, 2018. More here.

Demand a fair hearing and dismiss the tickets!

Wayland was thrown in solitary for 10 days in March for having “too much” clean, bottled water in his cell, which he had purchased at canteen.

Although the DOC denies that they would put him in solitary for this, Wayland’s initial disciplinary report labeled the water he had stored as “contraband” and now, he could face further punishment if found “guilty” of accessing clean water. More details on our website.

His disciplinary hearing is at 9 am on Tuesday, May 1. The DOC has already limited the number of witnesses Wayland could call for testimony and the number of reporting officers he and his lawyer are allowed to question, setting him up for an unfair hearing.

Flood the prison and the DOC with calls on Monday! Demand Wayland’s disciplinary tickets be dismissed and clean water to provided to all MA prisoners.


CALL TODAY!! Script below:

MCI Norfolk: 508-660-5900, extension 219 to reach Heather Beckler, Deputy Superintendent. If that doesn’t work, hang up and call back 508-660-5900, extension 299 (operator)

Thomas A. Turco III, Commissioner: (508) 422-3330
Fax: (508) 422-3385

Hi, I am [name], and I am a loved one/family member/concerned citizen calling about Wayland Coleman, W65484. I heard his disciplinary hearing is tomorrow morning and I am calling to demand his disciplinary charges be dismissed! The DOC must immediately stop retaliating against prisoners who organize for clean water and immediately provide clean water to all MA prisoners.

Will you commit to dismissing Wayland’s disciplinary charges and provide free, clean, safe, sufficient, and healthy water to all MA prisoners? Will you commit to ending retaliation against prisoner organizers?


Bruce I. Gelb, Deputy Commissioner 
Tel: (508) 422-3495
Fax: (508) 422-3385

Kevin Anahory, Director of Central 
Inmate Disciplinary Unit: (508) 660-5981

Christopher Langlois, Deputy Director: 
Tel: (508) 660-5990


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