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White woman charged after viral video shows her harassing Black sisters waiting for AAA
The white woman bragged about her high-paying job—now, she’s been fired.
A white woman who has been dubbed “South Park Susan” by HuffPost faces four charges and has lost her job after viral videos show her harassing a Black woman and her sister in front of her residence as they waited for AAA.
In multiple videos uploaded to Facebook, the woman, identified by the Associated Press as Susan Westwood, is seen accosting the two Black women, sisters Leisa and Mary Garris, in the parking lot in front of one of the women’s apartments in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Posted by Chele Garris on Friday, October 26, 2018
The women, waiting for AAA, recorded Westwood saying multiple times that she is “white,” “hot,” and “beautiful,” asking the women what they were doing there, and telling them they didn’t belong. She continued to demand answers, saying she wanted to know why the sisters felt the need to be in the parking lot and asking if someone had a “baby daddy” living in the complex.
She continued harassing the women by sticking her own cellphone in the face in one of the sisters, saying “girl” multiple times and telling them, “I got you.” She also asked one of the sisters how much she paid in rent, stating that it didn’t matter because she herself was paid $125,000 a year.
In a separate video, as one of the sisters calls 911, Westwood is heard asking if she needs “to bring [her] concealed weapons, too?”
The harassment occurred on Oct. 19, according to the Charlotte Observer, though the sisters later uploaded multiple videos of Westwood’s harassment to Facebook on Oct. 26.
“Never thought this would happen to my sister and I right here in Charlotte, NC,” Mary Garris wrote in the caption of her post. In the four days since the videos were posted, they’ve garnered more than 2 million views. The post itself has been shared more than 20,000 times.
MOUTH DROPPING VIDEOS...Never thought this would happen to my sister and I right here in Charlotte, NC (Southpark/Myers...Posted by Chele Garris on Friday, October 26, 2018
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has charged Woodward with two counts of communicating threats and two counts of simple assault. As of Saturday, warrants for Woodward had been issued but not served.
Woodward’s charges follow the arrest of a white man who had threatened a Black polling volunteer last week, also in Charlotte, North Carolina. Woodward’s videos are also just one of dozens that have gone viral over the past year depicting the behavior of white people as they police the existence of Black people going about their day.
While some Black folks in these viral videos were simply waiting on friends at Starbucks or attempting to use a public park grill, the overarching theme among these videos is that white people are demanding Black people verify that they belong in the community. Over the summer, people such as “ID Adam” and “Pool Patrol Paula” demanded to see that Black pool visitors were a part of the neighborhood, just as Woodward had done to the Garris sisters as they waited for AAA. The woman dubbed “Paula,” Stephenie Sebby-Strempel, went so far as to assault a Black teenager for being in the pool and recording her aggression toward him, similar to how Woodward had threatened the sisters with “concealed weapons.”
Woodward, who worked for Spectrum Enterprise, has also been fired from her $125,000-a-year job. According to Charter Communications spokesperson Patrick Paterno, which delivered a statement to the Observer on Sunday, Westwood exhibited a “blatant violation of Charter’s code of conduct and clearly disregards the company’s commitment to inclusion and respectful behavior. As such, Ms. Westwood’s employment with the company has been terminated, effective immediately.”
H/T the Root
Update 4:10pm CT, Nov. 2: According to the Charlotte Observer, Westwood has also been charged with a misdemeanor offense of misusing 911 for having called police claiming that the Garris sisters were “faking car problems.” Westwood had also claimed that people gathered in the parking lot were trying to “break into nearby apartments.” However, as of Oct. 31, police said they haven’t been able to locate Westwood, and haven’t been able to serve the warrant for her arrest.
Samantha Grasso is a former IRL staff writer for the Daily Dot with a reporting emphasis on immigration. Her work has appeared on Los Angeles Magazine, Death And Taxes, Revelist, Texts From Last Night, Austin Monthly, and she has previously contributed to Texas Monthly.