Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Statement from Rev. Edward Pinkney on the verdict

I cannot believe they could find me guilty without one piece of evidence. They attacked me because of my class - I'm not wealthy.  And, they play the race card when it's to their benefit.  Now everybody in Benton Harbor is in jeopardy. They are saying they don’t need evidence to send someone to prison. We have to say enough is enough.  It’s time to take a stand.

Here, Whirlpool controls not only Benton Harbor and the residents, but also the court system itself. They will do anything to crush you if you stand up to them. That’s why it’s so important to fight this. I’m going to fight them until the end. This is not just an attack on me. It’s an attack on every single person that lives in Benton Harbor, in the state, and around the country.

I thought the jurists would have enough heart, enough courage and righteousness to do the right thing. They didn’t just fail me. They failed everybody that lives in the city of Benton Harbor.

There was no evidence period. The only thing they possibly had was that the petition belonged to me, but it went through several hands. They only had one target and that was me. 

Any time you live in a society that doesn’t take care of its people you have a problem. And that’s what we have here in Berrien County. I am standing up for the people.

We want them to understand this fight is going to continue with or without me. In that sense, I’m happy today because people can take a good look at this system. It’s a class war. It’s us against them. Rich against poor. That’s what it adds up to. The point is we have to take a stand. It’s about you, your children, and your grandchildren. I never thought for a minute that the system could be this broken and would go to this extreme. They could care less about you, me, or anybody else. They only have one thing in mind. That is to make sure they protect the rich.

We got to fix this jury system. There was not one person from Benton Harbor, not one person from Benton Township on the jury. Anytime a Black man is sitting inside that courtroom and the jury is all white, that is a major problem. I think the jury is dishonest, and I think something should be done about it. Matter-a-fact, they should be facing time behind bars. .

There’s a lot of things that we can do now. We are working on an appeal. We are going to continue to fight this battle. We’re going to stand firm. This is all about the people.