Video: West Point Community Gathers on Labor Day to Pray for Beating Victim
WEST POINT, Miss. (WCBI) – This Labor Day most people are enjoying the day off but some folks in the West Point community are taking time to pray for Ralph Weems. Weems suffered brain damage last weekend after being attacked in the Huddle House parking lot.
“This is a time for us to just celebrate each other, affirm each other, stand in agreement with each other,” says West Point City Attorney Orlando Richmond.
This Labor Day the citizens of West Point gathered to show a united front in the wake of a brutal beating that left West Point resident Ralph Weems suffering from brain damage. Witnesses say Weems, who is white, was attacked in the parking lot of the Huddle House by a group of young African American men after an argument. Now the West Point community has gathered to pray for Weems and for peace.
“We know what our task is and today we’re here to pray for those who are in a time of difficulty but also to remember that God’s called us to be peace makers,” says
Pastor Dale Funderburg, of First Baptist Church in West Point.
Two men have been arrested in connection with the beating incident. The case has also gained national attention. Critics have claimed there’s a racial divide in West Point but those who live there say it’s just not true.
“We are unified here and the things that have been written on various blog sites and websites are untrue about this community,” says Richmond.
Police have also determined that none of the suspects were from the city of West Point. West Point Chief of Police Tim Brinkley says the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation will determine whether or not the beating was a hate crime.