Protesters march for justice at SRJ

Protesters march for justice at SRJ
Published: Mar. 4, 2023 at 2:33 PM EST
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BECKLEY, W.Va. (WVVA) - Family and friends of those who lost loved ones at Southern Regional Jail (SRJ) participated in a march for justice on Saturday. The group was joined by protesters from the West Virginia Poor People’s Campaign who came as far as Shepherdstown, W.Va. to participate.

In 2022, at least 12 inmates died at the facility: a ten-fold increase since 2018. At Saturday’s March, the family of at least two of those inmates -- Quantez Burks and Alvis Shrewsbury -- attended the march.

Burks’ daughter, Kiera Cooper, a college student in Ohio, also traveled to West Virginia to take part. “We just want justice, and we want everybody to hear it. We’re going to keep shouting and we won’t stop until we get justice. He was always there for us no matter what.”

Latasha Williams said her fiance’s wrongful death case is still in the pre-suit investigation stage. She hopes federal investigators will continue to take a closer look.

“He was my everything. My first first heartbreak. He was my everything.”

A member of the West Virginia Poor People’s campaign, Stewart Acuff, came all the way from the Eastern panhandle to help shine a light on the issue. “You’ve got to treat humans like human beings,” he said. “If the state is going to take you into custody, the state has a responsibility to keep you safe.”

Acuff said the organization would be hosting another rally at the state capitol on Friday at 11 a.m.