Tags Berrien County
Tag: Berrien County
In early November, Michigan’s court of last resort finally heard the oral arguments in the case of Rev. Edward Pinkney. The 69-year-old activist, free since June of this year after serving a 30-month sentence, is still pursuing the appeal on moral grounds. It’s been a long road, but he may have a receptive audience this time in the Michigan Supreme Court. There have been a large number of irregularities in Berrien County’s prosecution of Rev. Pinkney.
Berrien County Judge Sterling Schrock sentenced the leader of the Black Autonomy Network Community Organization, Rev. Edward Pinkney, to 30-120 months in prison based on an all-white jury’s verdict of guilty on five felony counts of forgery. The charges stemmed from a successful recall petition drive against Benton Harbor Mayor James Hightower, who is perceived as a tool of the Whirlpool Corp. and the political power structure in the area.
In the 1960s, it was called Negro removal. In Bosnia, it was called ethnic cleansing. It could be called genocide: the removal of the minority population for the purpose of redevelopment of the land. That’s what’s happening in Benton Harbor and the foremost leader of the resistance is Rev. Edward Pinkney.
A Michigan judge ruled this week that the Rev. Edward Pinkney, a Benton Harbor minister and longtime vocal community activist who recently served 13 months in jail, couldn't attend his own hearing in Grand Rapids before the Michigan Court of Appeals because he is under 24-hour house arrest and probation for quoting the Bible.
An all-white Berrien County jury had convicted Rev. Pinkney, the founder of Benton Harbor's Black Autonomy Network of Community Organizers (BANCO) and an associate pastor of Hopewell Baptist Church, in March 2007 on allegations of voter fraud. He won release from prison on bond in December 2008 only after the Michigan chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) took an interest in his case and helped with his defense.
A Court of Appeals granted the ACLU's motion for bond on behalf of Rev. Edward Pinkney, who is serving a 3-10 year sentence for harshly criticizing a judge.
Due to the great outpouring of support in Michigan, Rev. Edward Pinkney has become the Green Party candidate in the 6th District Congressional race. He is running against incumbent U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, a political heir to Whirlpool Corp.-Harbor Shores Community Redevelopment Inc.