The attack on democracy in Benton Harbor shows that the corporate power structure is determined to crush anyone who stands in its way. It is part of a process underway across America in various forms. The race card was played to show corporate power and Mayor James Hightower was Race Managing the Black citizens of Benton Harbor for Whirlpool Corporation.
The recall election was scheduled to be held May 6, 2014, but James Hightower called in the county big guns: Sheriff Paul Bailey, Prosecutor Mike Sepic, and Judge Sterling Schrock.
The Berrien County Sheriff's Department began investigating the petition campaign, intimidating residents, kicking in doors. Three Sheriff deputies surrounded the homes of people who signed the petition against Hightower.
In April 2014, the prosecutor decided to charge Rev. Pinkney with vote fraud, even with no evidence (five felony forgeries) and soon after a judge cancelled the recall election. In an alarming display of force over a recall petition, a SWAT team was sent to Rev. Pinkney's home to look for him. Rev. Pinkney was not at home.
Robert Wooley, a Berrien County Commissioner, had been forging checks for over seven years and was never charged with forgery. Robert Wooley stole more than a million dollars and was charged with only one count of embezzlement.
On Nov. 3, 2014, Rev. Pinkney was convicted by an all-white jury that was motivated by something other than the truth: the unrevealed hidden racial prejudices, deeply held. The verdict was not based on a desire to achieve a just, fair, or moral outcome.
Judge Sterling Schrock sentenced Rev. Pinkney to two-and-a-half to ten years in prison with no evidence. Evidence does not lie, judges, prosecutors, law enforcement, and all-white juries do! More than 130 letters of support were ignored by the corrupt Judge Schrock.
Judge Sterling Schrock twice denied bond pending appeal and then attempted to extort $1,736.17 in "restitution" to Mayor Hightower for alleged economic damage and psychological damage to his weak brain.
The Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 against the motion for bond pending appeal. We will be appealing to the Michigan Supreme Court very soon.
The Appeal was filed for the conviction to be reversed on Sept. 21, 2015. We believe we will be successful. The hypocrisy of Berrien County has no limits.