T.H.U.G. rally this weekend
By Shavonne Potts
A Gastonia activist plans to hold another rally in Salisbury this weekend for a Livingstone College student who he contends was mistreated by a Salisbury Police officer.
John C. Barnette, founder of T.H.U.G., True Healing Under God Ministries, of Gastonia, has organized a justice rally at Henderson Grove Missionary Baptist Church at Henderson Grove Church Road, off U.S. 29.
Barnette, who organized a rally in September, plans to hold three more rallies.
This rally is being held Saturday at 1 p.m. The doors will open at noon.
The rally is being called For Chastity’s Sake, in the name of Chastity Ramsey, 21, the Livingstone student.
According to Barnette, she was charged with not wearing a seat belt, assault on an officer and having an open container.
He said Ramsey was stopped by Salisbury Police Officer Mark Hunter for not having her seat belt and given a ticket. As she was driving off, Ramsey took her seat belt off again. Hunter wrote her another ticket.
When he stopped her the second time, Ramsey opened the door hitting the officer in the process. A search of her vehicle turned up a container of alcohol in her trunk.
The issue is more that they believe the officer was aggressive in his arrest of Ramsey.
She was thrown on the car and has some bruised ligaments in her chest, Barnette said.
“We are challenging the professionalism. He looked in her window at her 4-year-old daughter in the car and tells the daughter, ‘your mother is going to jail today,’ ” he said.
“We think it is extreme. We believe it will affect her in the future,” he said.
The rally will be an open mic forum. Anyone who has been “a victim of abuse from police” can speak, Barnette said.
Ramsey is scheduled to go to court Oct. 28, where Barnette is encouraging 119 people to show up for her hearing.
The significance of 119, is that it is 911 backward. Also on that day, there will be a prayer vigil on the steps of the courthouse.
Salisbury Police Chief Mark Wilhelm had no comment about the rally, but did say it was improper for him to speak about the case prior to court proceedings.
For more information, contact John Barnette at 704-906-2037.