PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Protesters gathered for the third day in a row at the Exxon gas station along Brighton Road in the city’s Marshall-Shadeland section Monday morning to call for justice.
The owners of the station and an employee are facing charges for the assault of two African American female customers over the weekend.
Cell phone and surveillance video captured the assault.
Police say it started when the women were trying to buy gas, but the pump wasn’t working and the clerks refused to give them a refund. The incident spilled outside into a physical altercation.
Women from the community along with several groups, including B-PEP, or The Black Political Empowerment Project, and the Greater Pittsburgh Coalition Against Violence held a news conference Monday to speak out about violence against women and to call on the Allegheny County Attorney General’s Office to file severe charges.
They called it the “One Community: One Spirit” rally.
“It ain’t about black women, it’s about all women. It’s about all women. That shouldn’t have happened,” said Annette Gant, a protestor.
“Men, you don’t hit on women. You don’t hit your women, you don’t hit you’re mother, no,” said Annette Regan, a cousin of the women assaulted.
Holding signs that say “All Women Matter” and “No Justice, No Peace,” people at the protest say something needs to be done after what is being described as an outrageous incident.
“Very disturbing, and I’m a retired law enforcement. Very disturbing,” said Richard Stewart Jr., NAACP Pittsburgh President.
The protesters say they’ll keep coming back until the business is shut down.
“You don’t put your hand on no woman and treat them like that. You don’t treat an animal like that. And then to drag them out like that and swarm them like wild dogs? No, you don’t do that,” said Stewart.
WATCH: B-PEP News Conference —
B-PEP also sent a letter to Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala about the case. It reads:
“I write on behalf of the Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP) and the Greater Pittsburgh Coalition Against Violence (CAV) to urgently request that you press the strongest charges possible against the men who recently violently attacked the two African American women at the Marshall Avenue Exxon gas station. This is one of the most outrageous incidents I have ever seen practiced by employees of any business in the Pittsburgh Region. We have begun to witness far too many instances in this nation of violence against people of color, and particularly African Americans. As African American-based organizations we will not tolerate the treatment shown in the video of these two African American women. We ask that you, as the District Attorney of Allegheny County, send a very clear message that this type of treatment of African Americans, and particularly African American women at the hands of men, is totally unacceptable and that such acts will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
“I also ask that you move expeditiously to prosecute these individuals. Thank you for your serious consideration of our request.”
The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office is reviewing the police report.
They tell KDKA, they’re still discussing with the city about which charges are appropriate and which individuals should be charged.