South CLT Woman Loses Job After Video of Racist Rant
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – “What are we talking about tonight, being hot, being beautiful, being white? My new weave?” Those words, from a woman named Susan Westwood. Now, Westwood’s not talking about anything. She hasn’t responded to WCCB’s requests for comment.
She is seen harassing two African-American women in a parking lot on October 19th in what Westwood calls the Myers Park / SouthPark area, saying at one point, “Want me to bring out my concealed weapon, too? This is North Carolina, by the way.”
Westwood has now been dubbed “SouthPark Susan” on social media after the video Mary Garris recorded went viral. Garris was visiting her sister Leisa at her south Charlotte home at the the Camden Fairview Apartments that night, and says when Mary went to leave, her car wouldn’t start.
“I had just called AAA, but had to end the call,” says Leisa Garris.
“We are so distraught and still very upset about what has taken place, only because of the color of our skin,” says Mary Garris.
In the video, Westwood is also seen telling the women, “I’m still gonna make $125,000 Monday morning. Who are you? Do you live here? Is your boyfriend here? Is your baby daddy here? I’m white and I’m hot. I’m white and I’m hot.”
51-year-old Westwood has been fired from her job at Spectrum Enterprise. A spokesman for parent company, Charter, tells WCCB, “The incident recorded in Charlotte is 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.”
Mary Garris says, “It’s so upsetting to know that today, we still have this overt racism that’s going on in 2018.”
Leisa and Mary say they’d never seen Westwood before that night. They hope their video brings awareness. They did call the police that night. A CMPD officer came out and filed an incident report. There are now four criminal summons for Westwood. We are waiting to hear back about why she hasn’t been served yet. Meantime, the Garris sisters have hired an attorney.
See the original social media post here:
WCCB Exclusive: Women Harassed by “SouthPark Susan” Speak Out
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Relieved but still concerned. That’s how sisters Leisa and Mary Garris tell WCCB they felt after hearing Susan Westwood turned herself in. Mary says, “Also concerned for her, as well as her well being.” WCCB News @ Ten anchor Morgan Fogarty asked, “You were concerned for her? What were you worried about for her?” Mary replied, “It is never our goal to bring harm to anyone.”
The women tell WCCB they knew it would be Westwood’s word against theirs, the night of October 19th, in a south Charlotte apartment complex parking lot, so they started recording her racist rant. Westwood could be seen repeatedly asking why the women were there, telling them she was “white” and “hot,” and asking them if their “baby daddy” lived at the complex. At one point, Westwood says, “Want me to bring out my concealed weapon, too? This is North Carolina by the way.”
Westwood also called 911, offering to pay thousands of dollars to have the women removed from the property, and demanding officers come to the scene immediately.
She has been served with four criminal summons for assault and communicating threats and charged with misuse of 911. She turned herself into the Sunset Beach Police over the weekend. She’s now out on $500 bond.
Leisa says, “I actually don’t feel comfortable at all. Because I’m having to look over my, you know, watch my back.”
It’s been an uncomfortable process made more difficult, in part, the sisters say, by one of the CMPD officers who responded that night. “The one officer just indicated that, you know, maybe she just probably needs to go in(side) and sleep it off,” says Mary. Letting Westwood “sleep it off,” after what she said, and after threatening them with a gun, was not an option for the Garris sisters. The women pushed forward, and not just for themselves. Mary says, “I just felt like something needed to be done, because if it wasn’t us, it was gonna be someone else.”
Westwood is in the process of being evicted from her apartment. She was fired from her job. And she has a court date. Many people have said they’re surprised something like this happened in south Charlotte. Fogarty asked the sisters, “What would you say to that sort of response?” Mary replied, “Open your eyes. It’s definitely happening. We’re not the first and we probably won’t be the last.”
Leisa tells WCCB she’d like to move. And Mary wants to thank her colleagues at Atrium Health for their support. Also, there was a possible witness in the parking lot that night. The women say that person has not been named, and has not yet come forward.