Incarceration Nation

Our Time to Unify is Now

By Mahmud Khabir Al-Matin

Rashad Abdur Rahman, formerly known as Robert Vickers is a former Black Panther and comrade of Anthony White (Kamu) and Harold Russell and Assata Shakur, Nuh Washington, Kuwasi Balagoon and many other known freedom fighters such as Dhoruba Bin Wahad.

Rashad Abdur Rahman a.k.a. Robert Vickers was recently incarcerated in 2014 after the New York City police department came to Albany and conspired with the Albany police department to entrap him on phony, trumped up drug charges under the pretext of an investigation of a 42 year old cold-case that involved the killing of officers Gregory Foster and Rocco Laurie by members of the Black Liberation Army.

For numerous years the NYPD came to Saratoga Springs, New York, where Rashad resided, to interview, and interrogate and harass Vickers in relation to the deaths of these officers. However, after continued unsuccessful attempts, Vickers was then set-up and entrapped with numerous alleged drug charges, and sentenced to 21 years, which at 66 years old, amounted to a life sentence. Rashad never sold any drugs to these officers, which was clearly brought out in the trial in Albany County. Rashad Abdur Rahman was convicted based on the sensationalism of his past membership in the Black Panther Party that was brought out at trial, which he never denied.

The so-called drug trial was based solely on Rashad’s revolutionary activities and subsequent incarceration 42 years ago.

Rashad, upon his release from prison relocated to Saratoga Springs, New York. At this time he re-entered society, and was gainfully employed by the Department of Public Works, from which he subsequently retired. He had his own business and was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, a property owner of several houses that catered to people in recovery who came to Saratoga to start new lives. Rashad got married and raised three children, and became a single parent in 1995 after his wife passed away. Rashad cared for his elderly mother until her transition.

In 2013 the NYPD and Albany Police Department conspired to send a confidential informant to Saratoga Springs who posed as Rashad’s cousin to entrap him into phony drug charges because they could find no evidence that they could use to charge and convict him for any involvement in the deaths of Foster and Laurie. The whole motive behind this conspiracy against Rashad was, as the media stated, “He was the last one left,” of a group of freedom fighters born out of the civil rights movement and struggle for freedom and justice for all American people, and not just a select few who benefited from and supported not only American, but world oppression.

The motive for this conspiracy was clearly revenge for his political beliefs, associations and activities in standing up and defying American corruption and oppression as it was then, and continues to this day, as evidenced by the mass incarceration and the blatant abuse of the powers that they were given post 9/11.

Rashad has never denied his past political beliefs or past association with members of the Black Panther Party, although he has publicly denied being a member of the Black Liberation Army. There has never been any evidence linking him to the deaths of the officers Foster and Laurie or involvement with the Black Liberation Army.

In 1972 after the assassination of Foster and Laurie a total of nine freedom fighters were lumped together as being members of the Black Liberation Army without any evidence. The Government sought to utilize and take advantage of the hysteria to gain maximum resources to apprehend and not capture, but assassinate all those Black Panther Party members who slipped through the COINTELPRO network of assassination and neutralization.

COINTELPRO was programmed in the ’60s and ’70s (and in many respects continues to this day) to silence all dissent. There has been absolutely no proof or evidence linking Rashad Abdur Rahman to the assassination of Foster and Laurie. However, being one of the last members of the original group of Freedom Fighters, after completing his prison term in 1978, Rashad has been harassed and questioned throughout the 36 years since.

After going on trial twice in 1973 and 1974 for shooting two police officers around the corner from the Panther office in Harlem, in which Harold Russell was killed and Anthony White (Kamu) was captured, escaped and later assassinated, Rashad was found not guilty.

The NYPD felt cheated and was determined to find revenge, and since they could not get him a life term in prison one way, they conspired with the Albany police department and Saratoga Springs to send a lackey who posed as his cousin to lure Rashad down to Albany and set him up on phony drug charges, in which Rashad pleaded innocence to and went to trial. However, when his explosive past and political activities 44 years ago came out at trial—which Rashad never denied—along with careful manipulating by the District Attorney and the total unpreparedness of Rashad’s trial attorney, Rashad was found guilty of multiple counts of selling a controlled substance, although Rashad claimed, and evidence showed, Rashad never sold drugs in his life. The drug issue was lost in the trial, and it came to be all about his past 43-years-ago.

With the news cameras, TV, and a courtroom packed to standing room only law enforcement from all branches was publicly represented: FBI, State Police, NYPD, District Attorneys from New York City, Albany, Saratoga Springs, and more. The Judge, as expected, sentenced Rashad to 21 years in prison, in spite of the fact that Rashad has not seen a prison since 1972, over 40 years ago. What Law enforcement could not accomplish legally they used Albany, New York as a stage for the circus performance. Albany has been notorious for mass incarceration of African Americans and abuse of powers to accomplish this aim of giving Rashad what amounts to a life sentence. Many of his constitutional and statutory rights were violated in their haste to arrest, convict, and sentence him.

He now stands in need of whatever legal assistance he can get.

You may contact him at the below address with any assistance and help that is desperately needed or just to discuss what this freedom fighter has learned through the years of continued struggle.

Please note that since his incarceration he came to prison walking and in a matter of months he has lost the ability to walk, and is now wheelchair bound as well as losing the ability to use his hand, especially for writing. Not wanting to complain about the medical care that is almost non-existent, which is prevalent throughout the massive prison system in America, if you do decide to write please allow some time for response.

A Luta Continua (The Struggle Continues)

Write to:

Rashad Abdur Rahman #15A0497

Shawangunk Correctional Facility

Box 700

Wallkill, New York 12589