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Thousands Call for Removal of WV Lawmaker for Joining U.S. Capitol Riot

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A West Virginia state delegate is facing sanctions for participating with pro-Trump groups storming the U.S. Capitol. (Wikimedia Commons)
A West Virginia state delegate is facing sanctions for participating with pro-Trump groups storming the U.S. Capitol. (Wikimedia Commons)
 By Diane Bernard, Public News Service - WV - Producer, Contact
January 8, 2021

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - West Virginia social-justice groups are decrying a state delegate's participation in the shocking assault on the U.S. Capitol building Wednesday, while Mountain State lawmakers are calling for the delegate's removal from the Legislature.

Wearing a motorcycle helmet and shouting Trump's name, newly elected Del. Derrick Evans - R-Wayne County - recorded his participation with pro-Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol, gaining illegal entry and destroying property.

State House of Delegates Minority Leader Del. Doug Skaff - D-Kanawha County - said House leaders are investigating Evans' actions. He pointed out that wearing a helmet is one of many indicators that Evans was prepared to riot.

"I believe Derrick Evans presents a security issue, a safety issue and a problem within our members," said Skaff. "His conduct is just not to the standards of what a legislator, an elected official of the state of West Virginia, represents. And we will be pushing forward to move him as soon as possible from his position."

Evans posted on Twitter that he was in the nation's capital as "an independent member of the media." As of late yesterday, more than 33,000 people signed a Change.org petition asking the state Legislature to remove Evans from his seat for "going against the Constitution and the rule of law."

Rick Wilson, director of the West Virginia chapter of the American Friends Service Committee, agreed with Skaff that Evans' behavior is unacceptable for a state official. He said participants in the rampage represent the politics of division we've seen over the past four years.

"For years now, people in power have tried to inflame a sense of white grievance and to divide people to create a climate of hatred and scapegoating for their own power and profit," said Wilson. "And this creates a climate conducive to white supremacy and violence."

Evans was sworn into office last month to represent Wayne County. The West Virginia Legislature is set to reconvene for one day next Wednesday before the session starts on February 10.

Disclosure: American Friends Service Committee of West Virginia contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Health Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families, Welfare Reform. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
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