A Houston’s restaurant in Atlanta has been accused once again for racial profiling after three women were allegedly assaulted by an off-duty police officer.
The May 13 incident was brought to light by way of T.I., who shared footage and photos of actresses Brittany Marie Lucio, Asia’h Sharrell Epperson and Erica Walker on his Instagram page. On the evening of Mother’s Day, the women were meeting friends at the restaurant. While the kitchen was closed, they were reportedly allowed to used the bathroom.
After spending ten minutes in the restroom, the officer, who was working as security for the restaurant, asked them several times to leave. Walker and Lucio were allegedly dragged out of the bathroom and towards the restaurant’s back door.
Epperson filmed the incident as the officer accused the woman of assaulting him. The women were taken into police custody, where they were arrested and charged with criminal trespass. Lucio was also charged with felony obstruction. The police report paint the women as the aggressors, claiming one of the women punched the officer as he dragged her out of the restroom.
Gerald Griggs, Lucio’s attorney, says his client has bruises and scratches over her body. Walker also posted her injuries on social media.
“We are seriously concerned about the level of force that was used,” Griggs said to 11Alive. “We believe they were profiled and subject to police brutality.”
Atlanta Police shared with the outlet that an investigation will be launched into the officer’s actions. “After claims of excessive force were brought to our attention, the Chief directed The Office of Professional Standards to review the officer’s actions,” the statement reads. Prior to that, Houston’s released a statement standing with the officer’s actions.
“The evidence we have seen thus far shows that three women arrived approximately 30 minutes after closing time, they went into the restroom as a group after being told that the restaurant was closed. The three stayed in the restroom for more than 10 minutes, and refused to leave despite repeated requests from several managers to do so. Eventually, an off-duty Atlanta Police Officer was summoned with whom one or more of the women got into an altercation that led to arrests. Based on our current understanding, we believe our managers responded appropriately to this unfortunate situation,” it reads.
T.I., who previously lead a boycott of the Lenox Road location with Rick Ross when a group of black women were kicked out of the resturant. The protest ended with the chain closing permanently in March.
The rapper tells TMZ he plans organize another boycott against the chain. “We’re going to cause for the entire chain to be shut down,” he says to the camera man. “We’re not gonna have it.”