Arab and Asian American gas station owners claim Chicago inspectors target minority-owned businesses

Some Arab and Asian American gas station owners claimed on Monday that City of Chicago inspectors are targeting them for racist reasons and shutting them down without any reason or recourse.

"Every day that I come to work, I am always in fear that this task force that resembles the insurrection of January 6th will attack our gas station and shut us down without notice," said gas station owner Saad Malley. The City of Chicago is targeting minority-owned gas stations."

Gas station owners and operators shared stories on Monday about being cited for minor violations that previously could have been resolved without closure.

"The city of Chicago comes with their minds set to close the business down. Before, they would consult with us about how to fix things," said Shihdeh AbuKhalill. 

"They came in and gave us a list of violations which could have been corrected if they gave us some time, but they decided to close us," said Aysar Abushanab

The gas station owners want the City of Chicago Council to convene an investigation. They said they have store surveillance video of incidents involving the task force to support their claims.

When asked about these claims, the city of Chicago told FOX 32 Chicago: 

The City has been working closely with gas station owners to ensure compliance with the municipal code. Two weeks ago, a Deputy Mayor as well as several senior departmental leaders from the Department of Buildings, Business Affairs & Consumer Protection, and the Chicago Police Department hosted a round table for these very businesses. As a follow up to the requests from the business owners, the City is providing business liaison teams and code checklists to businesses to engage on affirmative compliance.