George Floyd family lawyer Ben Crump to visit Mill Fire site

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The attorney who represented the family of George Floyd in their case against Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is coming to Siskiyou County to help those most affected by the Mill fire get help.

Civil rights and catastrophic injury attorney Ben Crump will speak at a town hall meeting at 5 p.m. Friday at Wayside Church of God in Christ, 1147 Church Ave. in weed.

He will also meet his client Blenda Long, from Weed, who lost her aunt in the mill fire.

Long will join Crump and his legal team at City Hall to “discuss how residents can protect their families and community in the wake of this tragedy, and answer questions from residents,” according to a press release on Thursday.

When it ignited on September 2, the factory fire destroyed most of Lincoln Heights, Weed’s historically black neighborhood.

A century ago, Weed’s black community numbered more than 1,000 of the town’s 6,000 residents, according to Blackpast.org. Blacks came to the area to find jobs in the lumber industry. By the 1970s, that number had dropped to 500, although the city’s overall population had fallen to 3,600 by that time.

In 2020, 11.5% of Weed’s population was black, compared to 12.4% of US residents, according to Census.gov.

Crump will take a walking tour of the devastated parts of Lincoln Heights at 2 p.m. Those wishing to join the tour can meet at the corner of Cypress and Railroad Avenues.

For more information about the public meeting, call the church at 530-938-1731.

The factory fire burned 3,935 acres before being fully contained last Tuesday. He killed two women: Marilyn Hilliard, 73, and Lorenza Glover, 65, both of Weed. The fire injured three people, including one person who was airlifted to the burn unit at UC Davis Medical Center.

Dave Rodgers inspects his home, destroyed by the factory fire, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022, in Weed, Calif.  Rodgers, who has lived in the house all his life, was able to take an elderly neighbor with him as he fled the rapid fire but was unable to find his two left behind dogs.  (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Jessica Skropanic is a reporter for the Record Searchlight/USA Today Network. She covers science, arts, social issues and entertainment stories. Follow her on Twitter @RS_JSkropanic and on Facebook. Join Jessica in the Get Out! Nor Cal Leisure Facebook Group. To support and sustain this work, please register today. Thanks.

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