This case follows on the heels of voter-fraud conviction of Rev. Edward Pinkney, a leader in resistance to gentrification of Benton Harbor. Read more.
Pan-African News Wire, Thursday, July 05, 2007
Intimidation ramped up
This could be the strangest story to emerge from the Berrien County courthouse in a long time. It’s getting almost impossible to believe that our governor or the DOJ doesn’t intervene.
Addie Kyle, a forty year BH resident was sitting at a table outside the courthouse, taking a break as court observer last week. A juror, also on break, walked by and had a friendly conversation with Ms. Kyle. She commented to him that the courthouse is racist and Black people need to stick together more.
The next day two police officers showed up at her door wanting to know what she said to the juror, so she told the truth. They immediately issued a warrant for her arrest.
Ms. Kyle hired an attorney who went to the courthouse asking judge LaSata to recuse himself from the case since the attorney may have to call him as a witness. The judge said, “If you say another word I will send you to jail.” A back-and-forth ensued with the atty. asking repeatedly if he was being threatened, and the judge yelling, “shut up.”
Addie Kyle’s hearing was this past Monday, July 2, in the morning.
A few hours before her hearing a cross was burned in her front yard at 4am. In court, the juror she spoke to last week defended her by saying she did not talk about the trial she was observing, he was in no way intimidated by her, and she was not “jury tampering.” The judge and prosecutor became angry (because the juror didn’t lie), and Judge LaSata pronounced Ms. Kyle guilty of jury tampering. He sentenced her to 60 days in jail, 1 year’s probation, and she may not enter the courthouse ever again. She will be tried in October and could be sentenced for up to 10 years on a felony charge.
It seems that the intelligent men of law who run the courthouse have figured out recently that “jury tampering” may just be an easy way to jail more BH residents: about two weeks ago a woman was laughing in the courthouse parking lot when the bailiff called her into the building and escorted her into a courtroom where she was charged with jury tampering. For laughing in the parking lot. After she hired an out-of-county attorney, the charge was dropped.
Part of the success of the Berrien County thugs is that they have operated in isolation for years.
Is this the worst courthouse in the US? It sure seems like a distinct possiblility.
As for cross burning —
The Supreme court ruled in April 2003 to uphold a state law banning cross burning carried out with the intent to intimidate. Cross burning is an instrument of terror and not a form of expression protected by the first amendment.
Cross burning in the United States is inextricably intertwined with the history of the KKK which, following its formation in 1866, imposed a reign of terror throughout the South, whipping, threatening, and murdering blacks.
Wilson Chandler’s household was a good place to enjoy yourself on Thursday, June 28, 2007. Shortly before 10pm Wilson Chandler was selected in the first round of the NBA draft by the New York Knicks. Wilson Chandler went to New York for the draft and is a 2005 graduate of Benton Harbor High School. That year he was selected as Mr. Basketball in Michigan. Chandler is the first player from Benton Harbor to be selected in the first round of the NBA.
What was Berrien County’s response? Several people called him with death threats, i.e., “Mr. N—–, you will never sign that million dollar contract.”
When will the people of Berrien County admit to the worst racism since earlier last century in the South?
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Posted by Pan-African News Wire at 4:53 PM