Rev. Pinkney Arrested AGAIN, supporters: Lynn Stewart, Voice Of Detroit, EXPOSED,

What's really happening to the people of Benton Harbor:
The thrust [of the Berrien county courthouse] is to physically remove and destroy families through the use
of the criminal justice system. Every person they can put in jail; every person whose voting rights they can
revoke with a felony conviction; every person they can cause to lose their job by putting them on probation;
every person they can cause to lose the ability to pay for basic necessities through imposing ruinous court
costs and probation is all part of the process. 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. --Civil rights attorney, Hugh "Buck" Davis

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

An atmosphere of fear and intimidation exists in the Berrien County Courthouse.

Rev. Pinkney acts as "watchdog" by attending court hearings EVERYDAY, 9-11:30am and 1-3pm. Every Tuesday at 9am he leads a march, picket, and rally at the courthouse. He welcomes concerned citizens from everywhere to participate.

The most recent incident of intimidation came from a bailiff. The majority of bailiffs in the court, including the supervising bailiff, behave in a manner which incites fear. They verbally abuse anyone who walks into the courtroom; it's gotten to the point where citizens are afraid to go into the building. This behavior is tolerated by the Berrien County Administration and is not reported. Rev. Pinkney would very much appreciate it if people would contact the courthouse and administration in protest of this situation. He is requesting the immediate dismissal of Bailiff John Behnke, and the formation of a committee to oversee the courthouse. Contact info is at the end.

This is only the most recent incident: On Friday July 18 at approximately 2pm the fire alarm in the courthouse went off. Rev. P. was in hallway and entered courtroom to inform everyone since the alarm is not heard there. He told a father that he would help carry the man's daughter down 3 flights of stairs as she was in a wheelchair. A grandmother requested help as she had just had back surgery. The alarm stopped and Rev. P. commented on how glad he was not to have to come up and down 3 flights twice. Bailiff John Behnke said, "This is no joke." Rev. P said, "I wasn't talking to you." Mr. Behnke "went off", shouting, following Rev. P., and shaking his finger in his face. This continued as Rev. P. tried to escape from Mr. Behnke, but was unable to do so for quite a few minutes. This attack was racially motivated. For several months Mr. Behnke, his supervisor (first name only is known: Larry), and some of his staff have attempted to provoke Rev. P. on purpose. Again, Rev. Pinkney requests the immediate dismissal of Mr. Behnke. His behavior reflects adversely on the Berrien County Courthouse. A bailiff serves as an officer of the courtroom and shall, without regard to race, gender, or other characteristics, treat every person fairly, with courtesy, and respect. Mr. Behnke failed in these important rules of professional conduct.

Berrien County Courthouse
811 Port Street ? St. Joseph, MI 49085
(269) 983-7111

James A. Cherry Prosecuting Attorney

Arthur Cotter Chief Asst. Prosecuting Atty.
Henry Ruis Chief Trial Prosecuting Atty.
Margaret Penninger Asst. Prosecuting Atty.
Beth Wild Asst. Prosecuting Attorney
Michael Sepic Asst. Prosecuting Attorney
Mary Malesky Asst. Prosecuting Attorney
Jeffrey Taylor Asst. Prosecuting Attorney
Gerald Vigansky Asst. Prosecuting Attorney
Jack Struwin Asst. Prosecuting Attorney
Greg Cleveland Asst. Prosecuting Attorney
Mark Sanford Asst. Prosecuting Attorney
Caryn Hebets Asst. Prosecuting Attorney
Aaron Mead Asst. Prosecuting Attorney
Russell Szwabowski Asst. Prosecuting Atty.
Jennifer Smith Asst. Prosecuting Attorney
Kelly Travis Asst. Prosecuting Attorney
Thomas Mize Investigator

Berrien County Administration Center
701 Main St.
St. Joseph, MI 49085
County Coordinator: Mike Henry -


here are some of the Berrien County Commissioners:

Bret Witkowski, chair
Bob Wooley, vice-chair
Larry Clymer, chair, admin. comm.
Debra Panozzo, chair, personel& human services comm.