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Calls to boycott Fannies Corner follow alleged attack of customer

The community rallied behind an Renee Ray at Fannies Corner on Monday, calling for justice at the party store near Franklin and Eastern. Ray says she was attacked by the owner with a metal pipe, and feels the police didn't take her case seriously enough.
Protesters line up in front of Fannies Corner Store

Protesters line up in front of Fannies Corner Store /Jared Siang'ani

"Boycott Fannies"
"No justice No money"
"We will not tolerate disrespect"
"Justice for Renee"

These were the chants coming from local residents gathered outside of Fannies Corner Store (725 Eastern Ave SE) near the Franklin and Eastern intersection. Residents had earlier gathered at Bates Place ministries, a local church near Franklin and Henry, to discuss their grievances with regard to their treatment at Fannies Corner. Residents more specifically wanted to rally around Renee Ray, an elderly black woman who was assaulted on October 1 by a store employee.

"I purchased a slice of pizza at Fannies Corner Store. It was hard; it was old. I took it back in there and the guy actually threw the pizza in my face. I threw it back at him, [and] he came from around the counter with a pipe," says Ray. "He hit me in the top of my head."

Ray says the employee roughed her up and pushed her out the door. She then went to the downtown police station and pressed charges, but she feels the police didn't take her case seriously enough. Ray has since contacted her lawyer and her case is pending. She also mentioned that the in-store video footage is purposely being withheld by Fannies management, who claim it got lost.

Fannies management was not available for comment.

Ray says she suffered a mild concussion from the assault and she also mentions her ear getting affected. She is currently receiving physical therapy.

"Basically what I want is justice," Renee says. She refers to the man who assaulted her as Goddy.

"He is lying saying I came in the store, I assaulted him, I tore the whole store up." Ray adds that Fannies has hidden the evidence which includes in-store footage and the pipe used in the assault.

Sharon Jones, one of Ray’s friends, lead the protest on Monday. She says there is a lack of respect among Fannies Management for the people in the community.

"Regardless of what happened, it was not right for them to hit her with an iron pipe," says Jones. "I feel like if they did it to her they’d do it to me."

Ladona Norman, another Black woman who was at the forefront of the protest wanted to highlight the importance of community voices at a time like this.

"We want to let our voices be known. We won't tolerate disrespect or criminal activity in our neighborhood. We are promoting your business, this is the reason why your business thrives- our community- and so by you assaulting the customers," she says, "we can't support that type of business."

The protest organizers say they’ll rally against Fannies Corner Store every afternoon for the next week. The rallying cry, they say, is "No Justice No Money" for Fannies Corner unless there are changes in how management deals with the community and more specifically, there is "Justice for Renee."

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