Sunoco cuts ties with Pennsylvania gas station owner over racist billboard

/ CBS/AP

Sunoco has ended ties with a Pennsylvania gas station owner after a digital billboard he owns flashed a racial slur and praised the acquittal of a white police officer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen.

The billboard is owned by John Placek and is about a quarter mile from the gas station.

Former East Pittsburgh Police Officer Michael Rosfeld was acquitted of a homicide charge last week in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Antwon Rose II. After the jury's verdict, a digital billboard in Worthington displayed photos of Rosfeld and Rose.

The message branded Rose a "criminal" and said, "Legal System Works, Justice Served, Get over it." A separate message included a racial slur and asked why black people can use the slur while white people can't.

Sunoco halted fuel deliveries and removed Sunoco signage from the station, according to the Tribune-Review. The digital billboard, which wasn't operating on Wednesday, is privately owned but stands on land leased from the Worthington West Franklin Volunteer Fire Department, the publication said. It added that the fire station didn't return messages.

"At Sunoco, we believe racism and bias in any form are simply unacceptable. Those representing the independently owned Sunoco-branded sites are expected to uphold our values on this topic. These offensive billboards are unacceptable and do not represent our values and beliefs in any way," Sunoco spokeswoman Alyson Gomez said in a statement. "I can confirm that we have terminated our business relationship with this site."

At Sunoco we believe racism and bias in any form are simply unacceptable. These offensive billboards are unacceptable and do NOT represent our values and beliefs in any way. We are quickly investigating our options to terminate our business relationship at this site.

— Sunoco Racing (@SunocoRacing) March 27, 2019

The Associated Press left a phone message at one of Placek's businesses Thursday. He told WPXI-TV in a phone interview that he knew he had pushed the envelope but was trying to promote racial dialogue, the station reported.

First published on March 28, 2019 / 2:47 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Sunoco cuts ties with Pennsylvania gas station owner over racist billboard

The gas station owner also praised the acquittal of a white officer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen

3M ago

Trump holds MAGA rally in Michigan – live updates

It's the president's second rally of 2019

updated 49M ago

Miami to host first Democratic debate in June

The debate will air live on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo

43M ago

March Madness: Sweet 16 schedule and results

Here is the schedule and results of every March Madness NCAA tournament game of the Sweet 16

57M ago

Man with autism outgrows swing set, gifted new one

Cobey Thomas is 6'10'', 200 pounds and loves swinging – but he can't use any old swing set

1H ago

Trump holds MAGA rally in Michigan – live updates

It's the president's second rally of 2019

updated 49M ago

Miami to host first Democratic debate in June

The debate will air live on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo

43M ago

Supreme Court isn't stopping Trump's bump stock ban

Chief Justice John Roberts had already declined one request on Tuesday

1H ago

Dick Durbin tells Betsy DeVos cuts to Special Olympics get "gold medal for insensitivity"

"Somebody has to accept responsibility for a bad decision" Durbin said slamming DeVos

updated 52M ago

Mueller report is over 300 pages long

Democrats have called on Attorney General William Barr to release the full report

2H ago

Venezuelan opposition leader barred from holding office for 15 years

Venezuelan government bars opposition leader Juan Guaido from holding public office for 15 years

updated 15M ago

Several Saudi female activists reportedly released from prison

Conservative Islamic kingdom seems to reverse course in some cases amid pressure over Jamal Khashoggi killing – but many women remain locked up

3H ago

Pope explains "motivation" for viral anti-ring-kissing moment

Video of pontiff pulling hand away from well-wishers' lips at pilgrimage site sparked backlash, but Vatican says he was just protecting his flock

4H ago

Brunei to make gay sex punishable by death by stoning

Amnesty International slams plans by tiny Asian nation to implement what the rights group calls "vicious" Islamic criminal laws

7H ago

WOW Air goes bust, stranding passengers in U.S. and Europe

Icelandic budget airline ceases operations, tells passengers to hunt for replacement flights with other airlines

3H ago

Attorneys group on Smollett case: "The rich are treated differently"

The decision by Chicago DA Kim Foxx to drop chargers against Jussie Smollett has come under fire

2H ago

R. Kelly accuser breaks her silence after 16 years: "I'm not ashamed"

One of the anonymous accusers in the R&B singer's criminal case is sharing her story publicly for the first time

updated 43M ago

2-hour "Game of Thrones" doc coming to HBO

Fans are getting a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Season 8

17H ago

Jussie Smollett: Timeline since "Empire" actor reported Chicago attack

The alleged attack of the "Empire" actor sprawled into a saga longer and stranger than anyone could have guessed

19H ago

R. Kelly accuser speaks publicly for first time: "Today I say: no more"

Watch Lanita Carter's extended interview Thursday on "CBS This Morning"

22H ago

Facebook extends hate speech ban to include white nationalism

The move comes less than two weeks after a white supremacist live-streamed his deadly attack at a New Zealand mosque

7H ago

European Union moves toward ban on single-use plastics

Lawmakers vote overwhelmingly to ban many plastic items — now member states need to approve the measure

20H ago

Census Bureau prepares for disinformation campaigns before 2020 count

Wary of the false news campaigns that plagued the 2016 election, the Census is asking big tech for help

20H ago

Elephants evolve without tusks due to poachers

In the presence of poachers, tusks suddenly become a liability – so some elephants just don't have them

23H ago

Facebook removes thousands of fake accounts in crackdown

Some of the accounts included spam, and others were promoting the political agendas of countries around the world

Mar 27

Man with autism outgrows swing set, gifted new one

Cobey Thomas is 6'10'', 200 pounds and loves swinging – but he can't use any old swing set

1H ago

First ever organ transplant from HIV-positive donor

Doctors say it's a milestone for patients with the AIDS virus​ who need an organ transplant

updated 36M ago

$80 million awarded to man who claimed weed killer caused cancer

Agribusiness giant Monsanto is facing thousands of similar lawsuits nationwide

15H ago

Judge strikes down 2 states' Medicaid work requirements

U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg in Washington, D.C., found the states' requirements pose numerous obstacles to getting health care that have gone unresolved by federal and state officials

19H ago

FDA proposes new mammogram guidelines for dense breasts

This is the agency's first proposed change to mammography standards in more than 20 years

21H ago

Sunoco cuts ties with Pennsylvania gas station owner over racist billboard

The gas station owner also praised the acquittal of a white officer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen

3M ago

Disney bans smoking at U.S. theme parks

E-cigarettes and vape pens are included in the ban, a Disney spokesperson said

2H ago

How business owners can solve cash flow problems

Cash flow challenges are common for businesses, but preserving capital can keep operations running when problems arise

2H ago

New York files charges against Purdue Pharma, Sackler family

Lawsuit accuses drugmaker of "deceptive" marketing and fraudulently transferring company funds

2H ago

Heiress collapses in court over questions about Avenatti in sex-slave case

Already bizarre sex-trafficking case takes another strange turn thanks to firebrand attorney Michael Avenatti

3H ago

Heiress collapses in court over questions about Avenatti in sex-slave case

Already bizarre sex-trafficking case takes another strange turn thanks to firebrand attorney Michael Avenatti

3H ago

R. Kelly accuser breaks her silence after 16 years: "I'm not ashamed"

One of the anonymous accusers in the R&B singer's criminal case is sharing her story publicly for the first time

updated 43M ago

Notorious inmate speaks before execution: "It's about vengeance"

Member of the "Texas 7" gang of escaped prisoners says he should be spared execution because he didn't fatally shoot a suburban Dallas police officer

7H ago

White supremacist pleads guilty in deadly Charlottesville attack

James Alex Fields Jr. pleaded guilty to 29 of 30 federal charges which call for life in prison under federal sentencing guidelines; his sentencing is scheduled for July 3

17H ago

Jussie Smollett: Timeline since "Empire" actor reported Chicago attack

The alleged attack of the "Empire" actor sprawled into a saga longer and stranger than anyone could have guessed

19H ago

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here