Two Arrests End Hospital Sit-In
Charles Thomas, president of the Washtenaw County Black Economic Development League, Inc., and Hank Bryant, BEDL vice president, were arrested by Ann Arbor police this morning for sitting-in at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital.
Booked on a charge of violating the state trespass law, the two were released on $25 bond after being transported to the police station. Police said authorization for a warrant against the two was being sought this afternoon from the county prosecutor’s office.
According to John A. Comiskey, associate administrator at St. Joseph, Thomas and Bryant had an appointment, which they requested, this morning at the hospital.
At that time, they reportedly asked for $5 million in “reparations” from the Sisters of Mercy, the order of nuns which operates the hospital. Comiskey said the men contended that the Catholic Church is wealthy and the Sisters of Mercy are part of it.
Telling Sister Mary Yvonne, hospital administrator, they wanted $1 million immediately and the rest of the money over a five year period, the two are said
to have demanded that she contact the order’s mother house and arrange an immediate meeting.
After being informed by Sister Mary Yvonne that she would set up a meeting but that it could not be done immediately, Comiskey said Thomas and Bryant stated they were then prepared to sit in.
They remained in the board room at the hospital, whereupon hospital officials called police, who came to the hospital, read the state trespassing law to the men, and arrested them when they refused to leave.
Comiskey told The News he would sign a complaint this afternoon.