NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Vice President of Murphy USA is schedueld to meet local activists on Tuesday after a Murphy’s employee called 911 on a group of people who were on the store store premises.
On Sunday, a Facebook video surfaced of the store manager of Murphy Express in North Charleston, Brenda Metz, calling 911 on a group of people who were marching against gun violence. In the viral video Metz is referred to as “Gas Station Gail”. The group says they stopped at the convenience store of the gas station to purchase food and drinks. Organizers of the march say Metz called 911 because all of the march participants are black. Metz is white.
Jonathan Thrower, a local community activist, recorded the incident on his cell phone. He wants Metz fired, arrested, and had planned to protest the gas station Saturday, but that has all changed.
Thrower has told News 2 that the Vice President of Murphy USA called the North Charleston Police Department to schedule a meeting to negotiate a resolution after an employee called 911 on Thrower and fellow activists.
Thrower says the meeting will be held on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at North Charleston City Hall. Thrower says his group will hold off on the protest and meet with the Vice President first. He says if they are able to come to a reasonable resolution, they will not reschedule the protest.
News 2 spoke to a spokesperson with Murphy USA who confirms and says plans are underway to fly the VP to North Charleston.
The spokesperson also said that the surveillance video of the incident has been reviewed by the company. They released the following statement:
“Murphy USA’s investigation into the situation that occurred at our Murphy Express location is ongoing. The safety of our customers and employees is our primary concern. We have spoken with members of our staff and local authorities and reviewed security camera footage from the location. We can confirm that the group of 30-40 individuals – many of them children who were gathered at the location following the march – were calm and peaceful.
The security camera footage shows clear safety concerns related to children moving around and in front of vehicles entering and exiting the gas station during a busy time of day. Our records also confirm that an external, emergency fuel shut-off button was pressed on at least three occasions, disabling all fuel pumps and requiring a manual reset to restart gasoline transactions.
We regret that this incident has taken focus away from the purpose of the local anti-violence march, a cause we fully support. Any effort to reduce violence in our communities is critically important to Murphy USA.”