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Protest forms at North Side gas station after police charged workers for assaulting customers



A $ 17 argument Friday night at an Exxon gas station on Pittsburgh's North Side that led to the assault of two sisters was captured on video and shared on social media.

The community reaction was rapid.

By 6am angry residents had gathered outside the gas station and promised to stay all day to discourage motorists from buying gasoline or storing goods. Protesters managed to shut down the store for the day. It is unclear if the station will reopen on Sunday.

About three police cruisers were parked outside the 2500 block of Brighton Road to secure protesters' safety, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Sgt. Tiffany Costa said so.

The audience ebbed and flowed throughout the day.

By mid-afternoon, more than 1

00 people – including young children chasing each other through the crowd – had gathered around the fuel pumps.

People are sorry, "said Amber Sloan, a community organizer who formed the grassroots group #MadeIt.

Police officials said on Saturday that there were criminal charges against the gas station owner and an employee allegedly involved in the assault.

" The video showing the abuse against these women is particularly disturbing as several men held the women down while repeatedly stopping them, "police said in a news release Saturday.

Officers have reported several videos as part of the investigation, including the gas station security camera and a video taken by a passerby.

The condition video shows a protracted physical change in which the male shop owners repeatedly hit one of the sisters in one of the heads and an employee who grabbed the other sister by the hair and dragged her across the sidewalk.

with spilled gasoline, said police and sisters, who refused to give names. Customers had demanded a refund, something the store owners refused. argument arose and quickly escalated.

ExxonMobil officials, who do not own and operate gas stations in the retail trade, said on Saturday that they were aware of the abuse and protests.

"ExxonMobil does not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment by any company representative," said Jeremy Eikenberry, a company spokesman in an email to the Tribune-Review.

"

Fred Powe was among the those who spent his Saturday at the gas station.

"This is a cause I think is worth it," said the resident of Spring Garden. "I have sisters."

Organizers provided water, food and music to collectors. Throughout the afternoon, residents who were then moved grabbed the microphone to encourage the audience to vote and to "shut this place down."

Among those who spoke was Tony Dawson, who lives in the neighborhood.

"It was disgusting, period," Dawson told the Tribune-Review after his comments. "You don't hit a woman like that."

Sharon McIntosh, a member of the Greater Pittsburgh Coalition Against Violence, said that society's The next step will be to address cultural differences that could have confused the conflict Friday night.

"This is not how we treat women of any race," McIntosh said. "This can never happen again."

As a result of the investigation, police determined to file an indictment against the station owner and an employee.The authorities have not yet given a name.

Police said they will continue to investigate the incident and ask anyone who may have witnessed the incident to call detectives for zone 1 at (412) 323-7201.


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