Screenshot WBTV

89-Year-Old Black Grandmother Denied Use of Restroom, Forced to Relieve Herself 'Outside on the Grass'

At age 89, Evelyn Redic can recall life under Jim Crow-era laws, where Blacks were refused service in many public places. So when Redic was forced to urinate outdoors in mid-90 degree temperatures because a gas station employee refused to let her use the store’s restroom, her family said she was outraged.


During a church trip in Charlotte, N.C., last week, the church van Redic was riding in got a flat tire. While waiting for the tire to be fixed, Redic went to a nearby Shell/Circle K gas station to ask if she could use the restroom.

“The staffed attendant did not respond to her request as an off duty attendant refused to give her access to use the restroom,” Redic’s granddaughter, Katossa Glover, stated in
a Facebook post about the incident, which has gone viral.

“One of the passengers advised the off duty attendant that Ms. Redic was recently released from the hospital and really needed the use of the restroom. Her plea was ignored by the store employee.”

Glover said that with no other option her grandmother was forced to relieve herself “outside on the grass near the parking lot.”

“She says she was outraged,” Glover said to WBTV.
Glover said Redic told her, “I have never been so embarrassed.”

“People are tired of being mistreated,” Glover added, “and a woman who has been here since 1929, who has gone through that, will not experience that in 2018 without the community fighting.”

County Commissioner Vilma Leake, who represents the district where the gas station is located, went to the location on Thursday to talk with the manager. Leake spoke with a clerk.

“The first thing she said was ‘we can’t say anything,'” Leake told WBTV.

“She’s a human being and they are human,” she said. “That is out of the ordinary to say no to somebody that age.”

A Shell/Circle K gas station employee told The Huffington Post that “the bathroom is in an area where only employees are allowed and if the woman had fallen, ‘We would have been liable.'”

In a statement released to HuffPost, Circle K said that it was “sincerely sorry that [Redic’s] visit to our store caused her any inconvenience.” But it added, “Unfortunately, Ms. Redic was at one of our small kiosk stations that does not have a restroom accessible to the public.”

The company welcomed her to visit its other locations with “easily accessible public restrooms.”

Mecklenburg County officials say no code violations occurred. After Jan. 1, 2019, all new gas stations in North Carolina must have a restroom for customers to use, according to county officials.

But the family thinks under the circumstances, Redic should have been able to use the restroom instead of having to urinate in the grass.

“I feel like we need some type of public apology,” Glover said.

Latest News

Comcast NBCUniversal’s NBCU Academy Partners With 13 New Academic Institutions

Originally published at corporate.comcast.com. Comcast NBCUniversal ranked No. 6 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   NBCU Academy, NBCU News Group’s multi-platform journalism training and development program, significantly expanded its reach to 30 institutions by adding 13 new partners, NBCU News Group Chairman Cesar Conde announced. The new…

Yolanda King

13-Year-Old Granddaughter of MLK, Yolanda Renee King, Calls for ‘Work’ and ‘Action’

On what would have been the late civil rights icon’s 93rd birthday, Martin Luther King Jr.’s 13-year-old granddaughter Yolanda Renee King proudly stood in his place, speaking out to a crowd of supporters and actively calling for all of us to continue the work her grandfather started. Maya Eaglin of…

Navient Corporation

Navient Agrees to $1.7-Billion Settlement for Abusive Lending Practices Impacting Thousands of US College Students

The price of a college education continues to be a stumbling block to many across the country. According to the Education Data Initiative, an estimated 43.2 million individuals are currently paying off loans with an average value of more than $39,000. Of that group, Black students and college graduates are…