Last week, two Black women were violently attacked by owners of a Pittsburgh gas station during a dispute that was filmed and went viral.
On Monday the Allegheny District Attorney’s office filed assault charges against three men involved in the incident, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Their names are Scott Hill, 50, who faces two counts of simple assault; Balkar Singh, 40, one count of simple assault; and Sukhjinder Sadhra, 35, two counts of simple assault.
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. #blkinpgh
— Summer Lee (@SummerForPA) September 21, 2019
On September 20, sisters Jamila and Ashia Regan, visited an Exxon station in the Marshall-Shadeland neighborhood according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. After the gas pump they were using malfunctioned and spilled gas, the women went inside to report it and request a refund from store employees. When they were refused a verbal argument turned physical and the sisters were attacked by the three gas station employees.
Exxon gas station closed at Brighton and Marshall, being blocked by protesters. pic.twitter.com/EXmZR1ej8C
— Coal Miner’s Granddaughter (@Tereneh152XX) September 21, 2019
In one of the videos which takes place outside the station, three to four workers can be seen repeatedly slapping and punching the Regan sisters. As onlookers yell in the background, one of the women escapes and re-enters the store only to be attacked again. At the end of the video, the women leave and you can hear one of the women ask for the witnesses to call the police. In some of the other videos that were shared, the men can be seen dragging one of the women by her hair and slamming them into a pole.
Prior to the charges being announced, State Rep. Summer Lee tweeted in defense of victims and also pointed to the apparent lack of respect and humanity that is repeatedly withheld for Black women everywhere.
On Saturday around 50 protesters shut down the gas station to protest the incident and to shed light on the mistreatment of Black women domestically and nationally.
“Do not come here. They beat black women,” said one of the protesters according to the Post-Gazette. “Don’t get gas. Don’t get nothing here. They beat black women.”
Others chanted, “No justice, no peace.”
One woman who spoke with the Gazette said that the she also experienced a gas spillage at the station and was charged.
“The pump was broken and the gas spilled on the ground, and they charged me for it,” she said. “That’s why I don’t come here any more.”
Community leaders have also spoken out against the attack, including Wasi Mohamed, the former director of the Pittsburgh Islamic Center.
On Saturday he wrote the following in a lengthy Facebook post: “If you saw the video of two black women being assaulted, what you saw was not an isolated incident,” he began. “You saw 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.
According to a recent report, shared by Pittsburgh City Paper, the Pittsburgh area is one of the unhealthiest regions for Black women one it comes to maternal mortality rates and economic development. Black women continue to find themselves on the latter rings of social advancement, which in turn emulates outward with these random acts of aggression and violence against them.
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