Black lawmaker sues anti-abortion group over racist threat

West Virginia’s only black lawmaker has filed a harassment and intimidation complaint

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia’s only black lawmaker has filed a lawsuit against an anti-abortion group, citing a racist Facebook post and a racist email she said she received in support of a legislation that would remove all restrictions on abortion.

Delegate Danielle Walker filed a lawsuit in Kanawha County Circuit Court on Tuesday against West Virginians for Life and Richard Demoske, who resigned as Berkeley County Group Chapter President after admitting to posted an image of a Ku Klux Klansman on the group’s Facebook page. The post targeted Walker by name.

Walker said she still feared for her life and was wearing protective gear. The lawsuit alleges that the email and Facebook post were “authored and published” by West Virginians for Life and “constitute the modern digital equivalent of burning a cross in Delegate Walker’s front yard.”

Walker, a Monongalia County Democrat, is co-sponsoring legislation to repeal all abortion restrictions in West Virginia. A mother, she has spoken publicly about having had an abortion in the past.

“These digital communications were and are designed by West Virginians for Life to harass, intimidate and strike me for fear of violence if I continue to support a woman’s right to choose,” Walker said in a statement. communicated.

West Virginians for Life did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment on the lawsuit on Wednesday. Demoske resigned from the chapter earlier this month after admitting his action violated the band’s bylaws. He did not have a phone number listed and did not immediately respond to a Facebook message from the AP.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages through a jury trial and seeks a restraining order to restrain the defendants from further contact with Walker.

Unlike Walker’s proposed measure, the Republican-led West Virginia House of Delegates on Tuesday passed a bill that would ban abortions after 15 weeks, a piece of legislation nearly identical to Mississippi’s law currently pending. review by the United States Supreme Court.

The legislation will now pass the state Senate, which is also Republican-dominated.

About Jessica J. Bass

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