During the week of Occupy the PGA, Benton Harbor Police chief Roger Lange attempted to push Rev. Edward Pinkney into a confrontation. Orders most likely came from Whirlpool and the PGA to arrest Pinkney by any means necessary.
On Friday, May 25 at approximately 7pm, Pinkney and 10 others were refused access to a public sidewalk near the Harbor Shores golf course. They were surrounded and escorted by 15 police officers Lange said they needed a ticket to walk on the public sidewalk. Citizens may walk on any sidewalks.
Pinkney's group stood up for their rights as best as they could, and the situation became heated. It was clear that the police were hoping for confrontation.
Pinkney, losing all respect for Lange, will no longer support him. Pinkney says that the police are no longer working in service of the people, and he will not speak to residents on behalf of the police dept. Their behavior was disrespectful of residents and visiting activists.
On Saturday May 26 we had a peaceful demonstration and for reasons unknown, law enforcement officers harassed a demonstrator. Three individuals were given tickets for no reason at all, except possibly to get Pinkney into a confrontation. One person was given a ticket for sounding a bicycle horn in Jean Klock Park; all the tickets were given inside the park.
Pinkney plans to file suit against Lange, BH Police Dept., the PGA, Whirlpool, and KitchenAid.
The ACLU has decided to take on this case.