gas pump

A Black man who said he was prohibited from buying gas by a white gas station attendant has filed a $350,000 racial discrimination lawsuit against the station.

Dominique DeWeese said in the lawsuit filed Wednesday that he asked an attendant in July at Jay's Garage in Portland for a gallon of gas in a container so he could do yard work.

DeWeese said the attendant declined and claims he implied that he did not want to provide DeWeese with an opportunity to set fires or commit other crimes.

DeWeese said the situation was offensive. He is the director of volunteer recruitment for the Oregon Robotics Tournament & Outreach Program for students between kindergarten and 12th grade.

"I'm an educator," DeWeese said. "A father. A member of the community."

The gas station's owner did not return a request for comment.

DeWeese’s lawsuit is one of several filed by one Portland law firm and among more than a dozen so-called “Shopping While Black” suits filed this year against Portland area businesses. Greg Kafoury, whose Portland law firm is representing DeWeese, said he has noticed an increase in potential clients contacting his office recently with claims of racial discrimination that are more flagrant than in years past.

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