WESTOVER, W.Va. – A local organization put together an outdoor sit-in discussion to educate the community of Westover on recent events involving police brutality.
‘Solidarity for Equality and Compassion’ used the opportunity as a teachable moment about the injustices and inequalities for all races and creeds. The sit-in not only focused on Black Lives Matter but also other ethnicities and the LGBTQ+ community.
Founder of Solidarity for Equality and Compassion Sammantha Norris, stated they chose to do the sit-in in Westover due to accusations of the Westover Police Department’s involvement with police brutality.
In 2019, an African American male named Andre Howton says he was forced out of his home by local enforcement and suffered multiple injuries.
“Were doing this for everyone that Westover has ungratefully pulled over, that they unfairly harassed, that their laws are really pushing against,” Norris explained.
Norris also mentioned she wanted small towns to know that they’re here, they’re loud, and law enforcement cannot escape from what locals are seeing.
Protester Lamar Riddick, stated he thinks the best way to create change is to start in your local community.
“We are making movement from city to county and just trying to let law enforcement know that we want justice as a people, we want to do it in a respectful way but in an impactful way,” said Riddick.
People in the crowd were able to ask questions on topics that most people are afraid to ask. Norris has encouraged people to attend the next Westover City Council meeting.
“If we can encourage individuals to take something away from this protest, go home, and then apply it to their lives and start that change at home. That is how change happens,” Norris acknowledged.
‘Solidarity for Equality and Compassion’ stated they will have another sit-in on July 10, 2020 in Terra Alta. To check out updates for upcoming sit-ins or peaceful protests you can check out their Facebook page.