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WILLIAMSON — A protest against racial injustice and police brutality was held Sunday in Williamson in the wake of the death of George Floyd, who died on Memorial Day while he was detained by law enforcement in Minneapolis.

Former City Councilman Rick Wilkerson organized the protest and gathered around 70 people to march for social injustice from his home along Vinson Street to the steps of the Mingo County Courthouse on Second Avenue in downtown Williamson.

The Williamson Police Department and the Williamson Fire Department joined the protesters and led the march through town. Police Chief Grady Dotson led the march with his cruiser and was one of several people who spoke, thanking everyone for being part of a peaceful protest.

“Your voice is being heard. It was an honor to be a part of this and to hopefully make a difference for future generations so we don’t judge someone solely by the color of their skin,” Dotson said.

“Unfortunately, racism exists in every occupation and does not end with black and white communities. Today is a prime example of how different races and ethnic backgrounds can come together as one, stop racism and start the healing process. Williamson, West Virginia, leading by example.”

Other city officials, including Williamson Mayor Charlie Hatfield, also participated and spoke to protesters. The Mingo County Sheriff’s Department also assisted with diverting traffic.

Jarrid McCormick is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. He can be reached by email at