Berrien County trial court’s vicious attack on a Black family
By Tiffany Henderson
On May 15, 2010, my life changed when my father Eddie Peek (61-year old Black man) was killed by a drunken driver Paige Karsten (21-year-old white female) at 2:21am while Eddie was at work for the [Berrien County, Michigan newspaper] Herald Palladium. Since his death, my family and I have had to deal with a prosecuting attorney by the name of Michael Sepic who believes (and has said to the victim’s family) that “poor Paige,” the drunken murderer, “has suffered enough.” He has told the victim’s family that Paige Karsten’s speeding on I-94 with a blood alchol level of 2.17 was not egregious enough to be charged with second degree murder — only because she is white.
When this journey started I had faith that the judicial system would prevail, but now four months later, I pray for a higher justice. In my 37 years of being a Black woman I have been exposed to prejudices of all types but never so blatant, demoralizing and relentless as what the Berrien County Judicial system has exposed, the very system that is supposed to be for the people, all of the people.
My journey will continue and only GOD knows how it will end and my faith is still strong but my essence has changed. I pray that this tragedy will be the start of a new journey and will change the essence of many for the betterment of minorities in Benton Harbor.