- A viral video shows police officers physically forcing a black woman to the ground, exposing her breasts in the process, at an Alabama Waffle House location.
- The backlash against the police and Waffle House exploded after the video was posted online on Sunday.
- “After reviewing our security video of the incident and eye witness accounts, police investigation was appropriate,” Waffle House said in a statement.
Waffle House is under scrutiny after video of a black woman being arrested at the chain has gone viral.
Early Sunday morning, Chikesia Clemons was arrested at a Waffle House in Saraland, Alabama, AL.com reported. Cell phone footage of the arrest, taken by Clemons’ friend, shows multiple officers physically wrestling Clemons to the ground, exposing her breasts.
“What am I doing wrong?” Clemons asks in the video. “What did I do wrong?”
At one point, an officer put his hand on Clemons’ throat when she is on the ground of the restaurant.
“You’re choking me!” Clemons says.
According to AL.com, Clemons was arrested at 2:45 a.m., on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Footage from the arrest went viral later on Sunday.
Watch the video, censored by AL.com, below:
Waffle House said in a statement on Monday that, while the company is still “obtaining and reviewing information,” “the information we have received at this point differs significantly from what has reportedly been attributed to Ms. Clemons.”
“After reviewing our security video of the incident and eyewitness accounts, police investigation was appropriate,” Waffle House’s statement continued.
Clemons’ mother, Chiquitta Clemons-Howard told AL.com that, prior to the arrest, her daughter had disagreed with a Waffle House employee if she had to pay for plastic utensils.
The employee reportedly told Clemons she would need to pay 50 cents for utensils, a charge that Clemons said she had not paid in the past. According to Clemons-Howard, Clemons was arrested after asking for a district manager’s card so she could file a complaint.
The viral video of the arrest has sparked outrage online.
Protect our women. This is wrong, this is unjust and this happens to alot of women when there are NO cameras around. Stand with our women. Defend their voice, and their right to ask why they’re being handled, being removed, being CHOKED. Be infuriated. Be willing to fight ???????????? https://t.co/P8NMBrN0UH
— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) April 23, 2018
#ChikesiaClemons asked a @WaffleHouse employee for the corporate phone number. Instead, they called the Saraland, AL police-who brutalized her for #WaitingWhileBlack. @WaffleHouse, what will you do about it? Call 877-992-3353 to demand answers. [TW]https://t.co/JnSNDJ5ebT
— Brittany Packnett (@MsPackyetti) April 23, 2018
The cop said he would break her arm because she was trying to keep her breasts covered in a public room full of strangers let alone the THREE MALE COPS on her groping and handling all over her This can't be tolerated #ChikesiaClemons #PoliceBrutality #BlackLivesMatter #TakeaKnee https://t.co/PYauI3j6rN
— TPGB (@tpgb33) April 23, 2018
“Our children should be able to go anywhere… We need to continue the fight for our children,” Clemons-Howard said at a Mobile, Alabama NAACP meeting on Sunday. “We have to stick together. We can’t keep on doing this over and over, year after year, week after week.”
A tale of 2 Waffle Houses:
In Tennessee, an unarmed black man, James Shaw, disarmed a white domestic terrorist who murdered 4 people of color.
In Alabama, a black woman, Chikesia Clemons, was brutally arrested for complaining about being charged for a plastic spoon.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) April 23, 2018
The Chikesia Clemons arrest inside a Waffle House in Alabama shows a wanton disregard for her safety and dignity alike. Her breasts are exposed. One of the cops says he’ll break her arm. Hands go around her neck. Again, who is being protected and served? https://t.co/5w5LOWu4r7
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) April 23, 2018
I stand with Chikesia Clemons. Sunday 4/22 she was physically and sexually assaulted (exposed and groped), humiliated and falsely arrested by state sanctioned klansmen with badges in an Alabama Waffle House. #WaffleHouse #RacialProfiling #ChikesiaClemons https://t.co/a8RByQSZB0
— BoycottStarbucks (@flofraz2) April 23, 2018
Chains’ treatment and mistreatment of black customers are currently in the spotlight.
Last week, Starbucks announced it would close all locations for an afternoon for anti-bias training, after two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia location. Current and former Starbucks workers were mixed on the company’s response to the arrests, telling Business Insider that the arrests were just one symptom of systemic issues surrounding race, stigma, and discrimination.