Pittsburgh police have filed assault charges against the owners of a gas station after a viral video showed them getting into a physical altercation with two black women, the Pittsburgh City Paper reports.
The altercation took place between the male gas station owners and the women on September 20 at an Exxon gas station in north Pittsburgh. At the outset of the video which was originally posted to Facebook, the women and the gas station owners can be seen yelling at each other before a fight erupts. At one point, a gas station employee punches and slaps one of the women. One of the women can also be seen getting slammed into a pole. The Facebook video has since been deleted but a segment of it was shared to Twitter.
According to reports, the altercation began when one of the women allegedly spilled gas and demanded a refund, saying that the gas pump malfunctioned.
— Dama Sly 🇵🇸 (@DamaSlys) September 21, 2019
As the video spread on social media and before charges were filed, many people, including State Rep. Summer Lee (D-Swissvale), called for the gas station owners to be arrested.
“If you watched that video and contrived any reason why those grown men could be justified in tag teaming women, dragging them by their hair and punching them in their face I can draw no other conclusion than you don’t respect black women and our humanity,” Lee, who is black, tweeted.
This past weekend, around 50 protesters gathered at the gas station and called for the community to boycott the business.
According to former director of the Pittsburgh Islamic Center, Wasi Mohamed, the incident was “yet another reprehensible example of the consistent failure of society and individuals to recognize the basic humanity of black women, femmes and non-binary folks.”
“My outrage is with the victims who were assaulted, and more broadly with all the black women in Pittsburgh and beyond who were forced to watch this disgusting, yet tragically familiar episode— facing that trauma yet again,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
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