Detroit Activists Fight to Keep Gas Station Closed After Arab Owner Shoots, Kills Unarmed Black Man

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A Detroit community is still reeling from the death of a 34-year-old Black man fatally shot by a gas station clerk last Sunday.

A group of activists gathered Saturday, May 19, outside the Citgo gas station (formerly a  BP) where Derek Roberts was gunned down by clerk Rami Ali Jaber during a dispute over a purchase, local station FOX 2 reported. Roberts’ family was among the crowd calling for a boycott of the gas station, which has been closed since the deadly shooting last week.

Activists are now pushing to have it shut down for good.

“We want this gas station to stay closed, this can’t just be a pause for a moment and back to business as usual, we want this gas station to stay closed indefinitely and we want the family to really fell the burden and pain that their clerk and son did,” Reverend David Bullock said.

Roberts was shot and killed on Mother’s Day after he and Jaber got into some sort of dispute while Roberts was trying to make a purchase. According to police, Jaber came from behind the bulletproof glass and shot the unarmed truck driver in the chest.

Jaber has since been arraigned on one count of first-degree murder and using a firearm in the commission of a felony, MLive reported. He was jailed without bond and is scheduled to appear in court for a probable cause hearing on May 29.

“Derek was my brother. He was my only brother,” Carnell Roberts Jr. told Click 2 Detroit, recalling the last conversation he had with his sibling. “I woke up that morning, called my mother and told her, ‘Happy Mother’s Day.’ She said my brother was there. She passed the phone to my brother and my brother told me, ‘Happy birthday.’ ”

Moving forward, activists said they hope to ease racial tensions in the community and have recommended better training for Arab store owners.

“Arab gas station owners need sensitivity training, you can’t do business in a Black community and hate Black people,” Bullock told Fox 2. “You can’t do business in the Black community and not like Black people, you can’t take Black dollars and not respect Black persons.”

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