Forced by judge to attend program for whites to ‘examine and deconstruct their internalized racial superiority’…
(Joe Marusak, The Charlotte Observer) A Charlotte, NC, woman whose rant at two black women was filmed on video that went viral was sentenced to mandatory sensitivity training and a year of unsupervised probation but no jail time on Wednesday.
Susan Westwood was sentenced after pleading guilty to misuse of the 911 system and two counts of simple assault, according to Meghan McDonald, spokeswoman for the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’ Office.
Judge Donald Cureton also ordered the 52-year-old Westwood to pay court costs, keep attending “community support” meetings and “any after-care alcohol programs recommended as a result of her substance abuse assessment,” McDonald said in an email to the Charlotte Observer.
Cureton also ordered Westwood to actively participate in meetings of the White People Caucus. The group, created by Organizing Against Racism, encourages white participants to “examine and deconstruct their internalized racial superiority,” according to the Organizing Against Racism website.
The judge also ordered Westwood to attend an October conference hosted by Race Matters for Juvenile Justice and to not contact the victims unless in a “therapeutic or legal setting,” according to his ruling.
Westwood did not reply to phone and email requests for comment from the Observer on Wednesday.
Her insults against the two women at the Camden Fairview apartment complex near SouthPark went viral after the women, who are sisters, posted video of the encounter on Facebook a week later, The Charlotte Observer previously reported.
The victims are heard in the video asking Westwood to leave them alone, and saying “you are harassing us,” the Observer reported. Westwood continued to berate them, repeatedly asking, “Do you live here?” according to the video. One of the women lived at the apartment complex.
Westwood also asked the women, “Do I need to bring out my concealed weapon, too? This is North Carolina, by the way.”
One of the African American women called 911, saying they were being harassed.
Westwood also called 911, according to a 911 tape of the call released by police.
“They are actually people that I’ve never seen here before,” she tells the dispatcher. “They are African American.”
According to the tape, Westwood also tells the 911 dispatcher, “They’ve been hanging out here for awhile. And they’ve been photographing me. … But they’ve been going into that apartment. It’s just really strange.”
She then accused the women of “trying to break in to apartments” and “causing problems,” the Observer previously reported.
The victims were outside waiting for AAA to fix one of their cars.
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