Chicago's Arab gas station owners say city trying to close them down over violence

More than 30 Arab store owners in Chicago are demanding action after one store was ordered to shut down permanently.

The local group claims they are being blamed for the street violence that happens outside their stores.

The business owners claim that in the last three weeks, 10 gas stations owned by Arabs have been forced to close by the city, the most recent of which was shut down Wednesday.

Surveillance video showed the killing of a man outside the gas station Tuesday on West Chicago Avenue.


The video shows a man running across the street with a loaded AK-47 and firing at a man on the ground, killing him. The gunman also shoots at a car leaving the gas station.

The owners of Citgo and Mini Mart said they agreed to close for two days while Chicago police investigated the homicide. But on Wednesday, police put up a sign closing the store under an ordinance regarding a safety threat.

"We closed voluntarily for two days and then they came and hit us with this sticker forcibly closing us afterwards. We felt betrayed, we complied, we gave them the video," said Ahmad Mohsin, the gas station's owner.

The city of Chicago's Business Affairs and Consumer Protection said the gas station had issues relating to tobacco violations and selling expired food items. It has had 18 citations and violations.

The owners have a hearing with the city Friday to find out if they have to permanently close.