Members of the Charleston, S.C. Guns Down Chuck Town, a side chapter of the national Guns Down America, stopped by a Murphy’s USA convenience store/gas station to get drinks and snacks after a day of marching. A short time later, a woman and man pulled up in a truck and ordered everyone to leave. The man then called the police, handing the phone to the woman to speak. It turned out the woman, Brenda Metz, was the store manager. She told the dispatcher:
“They’re standing outside my store, they’re videoing us and everything, I need a police officer here now. I mean, it’s like a riot out here. [They are] absolutely destroying the outside.”
A video taken by Facebook user, Jonathan Thrower, AKA Shakem Akhet, shows the woman talking to the police on the phone while a large group of people mingle outside. There is a lot of noise, which usually comes with a large group of children, but there was no indication any rioting was happening.
Akhet posted the video to Facebook urging people to help it go viral. He told Charleston City Paper he’d helped organize the march. The group had earlier stopped by another gas station and handed out information on conflict resolution. He also told the paper at first he thought it must have been a joke.
“I thought she was playing at first. I didn’t really think that was gonna happen.”
Akhet took out his phone and began recording. You can see the video below.
You can hear the 911 call below. The woman tells the dispatcher that some of crowd are turning the pumps on and off, but eventually after being repeatedly asked, admits she is not in danger.
Akhet says when the police showed up, there was no report filed. Most of the children and their parents had already moved on down the road. He says:
The North Charleston Police Department — I applaud them, because the guy was like, ‘You know, they’re just coming in to purchase something, I’m sure they‘re not causing any trouble.
#gasstationgail Aka Brenda Metz calling 911 is For EMERGENCY Purposes. Not only should you be fined for BS calls you should be changed with a crime, maybe lose your voting rights for a while. That should SLOW THIS RACIST Act down. https://t.co/VGB2oBZhbw
— Michelle A. Melton (@Michelle_Melton) October 15, 2018
— I am Just Ally (@JustAlly) October 18, 2018
— Tene (@Natural_Tene) October 16, 2018
— Nicole Barrett (@NicoleBarrettTV) October 17, 2018
Dear Caucasian people,
STOP calling the cops because your ignorant ass keeps watching @FoxNews
& they brain wash you with nothing but HATE and RACISM that you can't even accept that people of color live and function like YOU!!! #GasStationGail STOP THIS FKN NONSENSE!!!!!
— bri (@bridisagrees) October 18, 2018
#GasStationGail White Woman Calls 911 on Stop the Violence Walk
full video: https://t.co/xfF9N6qwJF#StayWoke Addressing racism can make Whites feel anger, fear or guilt, which leads to denial and defensiveness. That's when the “ostrich effect” happens and they hide. pic.twitter.com/C573fThEHP
— WOKEVIDEO (@wokevideo) October 16, 2018
#Child: “Everytime we try to do something good, they call the police” #Vote #Midterms2018 #msnbc#GasStationGail : Store manager calls police on parents and children buying drinks after their #StopTheViolence march. https://t.co/ssyka001B2 via @YahooLifestyle
— Sesi (@beachydreamer) October 17, 2018
Murphy USA issued the following statement regarding the incident:
Murphy USA is aware of a situation on Oct. 14 at our North Charleston, South Carolina, Murphy Express location at 8599 Rivers Avenue. Approximately 30–40 people were gathered outside the location at the conclusion of a local community event. Safety issues arose due to people, many of which were young children, being in and around the flow of store traffic, and disruptions to the business were caused by an external emergency fuel stop button being struck numerous times, which shut down all fuel pumps at our site. A Murphy USA employee approached the group and requested they leave the premises. After members of the group refused to leave the premises, a call was made to law enforcement. At this time, Murphy USA is reviewing the situation and the response with our team.