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Judge to join non-violence march

David Shepardson
Detroit News Washington Bureau

U.S. District Judge Terrence Berg, who was shot outside his home this month, plans to take part in a march Friday at his Catholic church to oppose violence.

Berg, who last week began working part-time from home after leaving the hospital March 11 and is getting around on crutches, said he will take part in a march on Good Friday at Gesu Catholic Church.

The walk will feature people “expressing solidarity and nonviolence. ... It’s basically to celebrate the kind of community that we have, which is a very supportive community, and it is also to stand up against violence and to talk about and think about and reflect on doing something about it,” Berg said.

Berg, who has lived in the Detroit neighborhood for 26 years, said there are many positive things about his neighborhood and the march is a “good example of that.”

Marchers will meet at 6 p.m. at the church at 17180 Oak Drive.

The walk will be about a mile along Livernois. Berg plans to say a few words and hopes to take part in his wheelchair “if it is not too bumpy.”

The church said the event is a “protest against violence and a call to build a city of love.

“Those who cannot walk are encouraged to come and pray in the church until the group returns. The event will end with a short prayer service.”

Meanwhile, Berg said he is making progress in his recovery after the shooting.

Berg, 55, said he is in physical therapy. In about two weeks, he’ll undergo an evaluation.

Berg said doctors may install pins and a plate in his knee.

He will need crutches for an extended period, probably another couple of months.

Berg said the outpouring of support since the shooting has been “amazing,” and he has heard from “everyone under the sun,” including judges, prosecutors, even prisoners “who have written to me and they were sorry something like this happened.

“I’ve heard from nuns across the country. It’s really been wonderful, a lot of prayer. ... I feel very grateful.”

Berg is a longtime federal prosecutor who was named to the federal bench in 2012 and assigned to federal court in Flint.

He was shot March 5 outside his home near Livernois and Seven Mile in Detroit after collecting his trash cans.

He is working from home on opinions and orders. “I’m not able to really put in a full day yet but I am getting some things done and that makes me feel good,” Berg said.

Some of his colleagues have handled some criminal court matters for him.

“Everybody’s been really really nice about helping us out.”

Berg declined to talk about the investigation and whether he has been asked to identify any potential suspects.

The FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are offering a $35,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of two men involved in the shooting. “I do know they are really working hard on it,” Berg said.

The men, believed to be age 18-25, demanded to be let inside his house.

When he refused, he was shot. His wife and 16-year-old son were home at the time.

The two fled in a dark-colored car, possibly a Dodge Charger, according to the FBI.

Berg said he didn’t recognize the men and thought the incident was random.

Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at (313) 965-2323 (select “0”), the U.S. Marshals Service at (313) 234-5600, or Detroit Police Department at (313) 267-4600.