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“THIS IS SOMETHING THAT THE FBI NEEDS TO INVESTIGATE”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Dec. 16, 2010) — The following is a transcript from a phone call made by Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III to The Post & Email earlier today.
LCDR FITZPATRICK: A man named Aaron Click who is an inmate here – he was in Cell 8 with me – attacked me this morning. He came on to me unprovoked and threw a punch before another inmate pulled him off of me. I was sitting in my bunk. He’s just been raising all kinds of discontent since I went in there Friday night. The guy’s a bad actor and has been for a long time.
He was in Cell 8 when I was here before, and he has prior knowledge of my case. He has some kind of axe to grind with me specifically. I am going to press charges against him, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation needs to be made aware that this happened today. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department knows that Click is a bad actor. I was in Cell 5 before and everything was fine in there, and then I got moved for whatever reason last Friday. So it’s been from last Friday to today that this has been building, and I reported it and was kept in there. But that’s what happened this morning.
I also learned this morning that the State of Tennessee was in here, as we both know, on the 7th of December. In fact, the development is that the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department must correct problems that were made known to them. They took pictures of almost every cell, found people on the floor, discrepancy after discrepancy. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department was given 30 days to correct the deficiencies, or they’ve been told that they’re going to have to shut the facility down.
I did not have a visitor on Wednesday. I didn’t call yesterday because Mr. Burnett called you and there was nothing new to report. I’m calling today because of a new development. The judge could order me out of here before my 30 December release date, especially now with what’s going on here. The judge could order me out today. Given the kind of environment here, it’s something to think about. Putting me in here with this guy was absolutely wrong, and as I said, he threw the first punch, people pulled him off of me and diffused it pretty quick. But this is another issue, and people saw this coming. He’s a really bad person, and as I said, he’s going to be facing charges, and I think he needs to be facing charges with the FBI because the FBI needs to oversee what’s going on here and get involved, especially after their notice of a death threat back on the 29th of October.
MRS. RONDEAU: I just published a long story about how the jailers are obstructing mail from and to you. I checked with Ms. Cook to see if she received your note that you said you wrote to her last Friday, and she said that nothing had come in as of today. So it’s been a week.
Someone did go to visit you yesterday. The person brought a packet of legal forms: habeas corpus, appeals forms, and other materials which people have been trying to get to you. He went to a deputy and asked him to sign for the package, inspect its contents, and affirm in writing that he would get the papers to you. The deputy reportedly refused to do so on the grounds that it had to be sent through the U.S. mail. So the person sent it through the U.S. mail today and furnished a receipt which is incorporated into the article. People can now prove that they are trying to get you the forms you need to write up an appeal and the jailers are obstructing it.
I called the FBI and told them that this was happening, and they said, “The inmates can just write and send their own letter; they don’t need to be going through you, a third person.” I then said that mail is not reaching the inmates and therefore, mail probably isn’t going out, either. I also called about the Burnett case.
LCDR FITZPATRICK: There hasn’t been mail delivered for the last two days, maybe three. There’s been a complaint going out from the inmates that this is the Christmas season and these men are not receiving any mail for days on end. So there’s something going on.
MRS. RONDEAU: I also called Capt. Wilson twice and asked for your release date. It began with someone on Monday morning who deferred to a Lt. Stanley, a woman, who was very nice but said I’d have to speak to Capt. Wilson. So I left him two messages and in my second message, I said that there was a discrepancy in the release date, with the Advocate & Democrat saying the 25th and the sheriff’s department saying the 30th. I asked for the official date and any documentation issued to that effect.
LCDR FITZPATRICK: They’ve told me that it’s the 30th of December, that the Advocate & Democrat was wrong. Wilson walked me through that. I get no credit here for any time served pre-trial for good behavior because I’m not a state inmate. So there is no credit at all, then they handed out ten days for the contempt of court, and that brings us to the 30th. But with this attack this morning from Mr. Click, I think some extraordinary pressure can be brought on these people. Again, federal intervention is going to be what it takes to get this out there front and center. A judge could say, “OK, let him go now,” especially with the threat that’s been manifested here this morning. So it’s a big deal, Sharon, it really is. And what we need now is for a detective to give a report, and by the way, he hasn’t shown up yet. I think the person going to the feds should say, “Hey, this man, Mr. Click, has threatened death, not to me, but to other people, and he’s called the “cell boss.” He thinks he’s king of the hill, and “if you don’t do what I tell you to do, I’m going to beat you to a pulp; I’ll take you out.” Then he tries to provoke people into throwing the first punch.
I was sitting in the bunk this morning and he came over and came at me, and you know the rest.
MRS. RONDEAU: What kind of injuries did you sustain?
LCDR FITZPATRICK: None. It wasn’t much of a punch. It was a left hook to the right side of my face, and he didn’t land much. I didn’t respond because that would have just complicated matters. It was unprovoked, and I didn’t respond. An inmate pulled him off of me before anything happened, and there was a deputy in there in a moment, so it was diffused pretty quickly. But it could have been something much more serious.
MRS. RONDEAU: Has Mr. Click threatened other inmates with death previously?
LCDR FITZPATRICK: Yes; he did it in my presence. Last Friday, and every day since then, pounding his chest and saying “If you don’t do what I tell you, I’ll take you on and put you down.” And this has all being recorded, and people know about this guy. I reported him last Saturday morning, and nothing was done. He’s been getting away with this, but now he’s been sequestered in Cell #10. This guy has been bad news and is just a real bad actor.
For the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department to put me up there as they did…the FBI looked at something similar on 29 October. Think about this: why was that done? What’s going on here?
MRS. RONDEAU: Do you think you were put in with him intentionally?
LCDR FITZPATRICK: I’ve written this down. This is something that the FBI needs to come in and investigate. Why the hell is this stuff going on? The guy’s been badmouthing me from Day One. He regularly brought up the issue of the work that I’m doing with the grand juries; he brought that up over and over again. Excuse me, but what’s going on here? I don’t think that this was a coincidence, especially after I reported him as a threat and nothing happened this whole week. And I wrote it down in my log here, and this thing is coming up every single day. That’s why federal intervention is necessary. I think enough pressure can be brought on the judges to move me out of here today, tomorrow…
MRS. RONDEAU: Do you know if something like this happens in a jail, are the jailers required to report it anywhere higher than the sheriff?
LCDR FITZPATRICK: Yes. It’s expected that someone from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, of all places, will come and speak with me. “Travis Jones” is the name that was given to me, but here we are, in the middle of the afternoon, and I still haven’t seen him. So yes, there’s an obligation there. But how about you and me reporting this first to the feds, because Travis Jones is a joke. I don’t know what’s going to happen. There could be a cover-up; a lot of things happen. Every cell has a camera in it, so there’s a tape of what happened.