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Posted: November 07, 2018
Video of the woman nicknamed "SouthPark Susan" harassing two women in the parking lot of an apartment complex has gone viral.
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The sisters, the apparent targets of 51-year-old Susan Westwood’s rants, who recorded the video said the story almost didn’t get shared.
The sisters said it was the treatment they got after the incident by people who were supposed to help that made them go public.
“We said, ‘OK, we've got to do something here,” Mary Garris said.
Lesa Garris said that when she tried to report the incident, at first, the 911 dispatcher yelled at her and even disconnected the call.
Then, she told the apartment staff.
“He said, ‘You'll be OK. We all go through it,’” Lesa Garris said.
Then, when they went to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department headquarters to file a complaint, they were turned away.
“The police sent us to the magistrate's office, and we were turned away,” Mary Garris said. “We were told we couldn't file any charges because we didn't have the suspect's name.”
The sisters said the name should have been on file because a report had been filed the previous night.
“We walked away feeling very defeated,” Mary Garris said.
Only after that sequence of events did they decide to post the video.
“No matter our skin tone, we all are the same,” Lesa Garris said. “If you can't help someone, just respect them.”
The sisters said they shared their story to bring change.
“I hope the actions that my sister and I took will give others the opportunity to stop and think before they react,” Mary Garris said.
The Garris sisters said that only after they posted the video and got legal representation were they able to file charges.
The corporate office of the complex evicted Westwood. She was also fired from her job.
Police said the complaint will be heard in court on Dec. 19.
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