A black father from Oregon is suing a Portland gas station for racial discrimination, claiming he was denied gasoline for his lawnmower because the white attendant assumed that he would use the flammable liquid to start fires at protests raging in the city.
Dominique DeWeese, 37, filed a $350,000 complaint on Wednesday against Jay’s Garage on Southeast 7th Street in Portland. The lawsuit alleges that he was refused service in July based on the color of his skin.
According to the court filing, DeWeese, a father-of-two who works as the director of volunteer recruitment for the Oregon Robotics Tournament and Outreach Program, on July 28 came by the garage near his house with an empty canister, seeking to buy gasoline for his lawnmower to do some yard work.
But the worker at Jay’s Garage would not sell him the gasoline, saying that Black Lives Matter protesters have been setting fires all over the city, and he wanted to do his part to help put an end to that.
DeWeese recorded his exchange with the white gas station employee on video, which went viral.
The recording begins with the unnamed attendant directing DeWeese to another gas station two blocks away, and then threatening to call the police on him.
‘I’m trying to understand how come I can’t get gas,’ DeWeese demands. ‘You’re not explaining why you’re refusing to sell me gasoline.
‘You don’t watch the news?’ the worker asks.
‘No, I don’t watch the news,’ DeWeese shoots back.
‘Well, there are dumpster fires. They get a can of gasoline and they start the fire,’ the attendant explains.
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Source: Daily Mail