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Racial slur used by employee at Md. gas station leads to outcry, apology, call for boycott


LARGO, Md. (ABC7) — “I felt like I had literally been stabbed through the chest," Prince George's County, Md. resident Rachel Sherman said.

What happened to Sherman last Thursday at a BP service station in Largo, Maryland, led to a firing, a public apology and now a boycott – all thanks to a video that went viral.

Sherman says last week she confronted the person doing state vehicle inspections at this BP for trying to overcharge her brother to have his vehicle re-inspected.

“My brother called me and said well the guy is telling me it’s 100 dollars and it’s cash only I said that didn’t sound right," Sherman said.

It’s not, as normally it's $30.

“And as I turned to walk away, his exact words to me were ‘And we usually charge ******* more,'" Sherman said.

Sherman, shaken by hearing the n-word, decided to document on video what just happened. She shared it on Facebook. She says the video has been viewed more than half a million times.

"And to see the entire community come behind me and say we are not going to let this happen to you or anybody else, it empowered me," Sherman said.

The station’s owner confirms to ABC7 News that the day after the incident the employee was fired. That night he and another man apologized directly to Sherman.

Since then Sherman and community leaders like LaTasha Ward have called for a boycott of this business.

“People are just tired of it," Ward said. "We would like to be able to shop and support people’s business but we want good customer service as well.”

ABC7 asked the owner if he’s concerned about losing business since the video went viral and he said yes but declined to comment further.

Sherman and Ward hope this BP takes a more active role in supporting the community.

“My biggest hope was to send a message to not only this gas station but to other businesses in this community that don’t value us, any minority or any customer," Sherman said. "We want to see that they want to be a part of this community and that they value the customers here. I’m not sure how they can do that from a business standpoint but we need to see more progress."

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