The Waffle House is defending a viral video of police officers in Saraland, Ala. violently manhandling a black customer, exposing her breasts, and threatening to break her arm before taking her into custody last Sunday (April 22).
In a statement posted to Twitter, the company said that it is “still obtaining and reviewing information” but has been receiving conflicting reports regarding customer Chikesia Clemons.
“After reviewing our security video of the incident and eye witness accounts, police intervention was appropriate,” the company said adding that the Saraland Police Department is conducting its own investigation. “We take this matter very seriously and think it is important for all those involved or interested in the matter to exercise caution until the facts are developed.”
— Waffle House News (@WaffleHouseNews) April 23, 2018
Clemons’ friend, Canita Adams, captured cell phone footage of Clemons being confronted and subsequently arrested by three white officers. The early-morning altercation occurred after Clemons placed a food order that was canceled because she refused to pay an extra $0.50 for utensils, her mother Chiquitta Clemons-Howard told AL.com.
According to her mother, Clemons informed the Waffle House waitress that she wasn’t charged for utensils the prior day, and went on to ask for the district manager’s information. Police arrived at the restaurant as Clemons was waiting.
“What are you doing?” Clemons asks as one of the three cops grabs her wrist. “I’ll break your arm, that’s what I’m about to do,” he replies.
Clemons is then thrown to the ground before two additional officers help to restrain her. Clemons’ friend can be heard repeatedly telling police that she did nothing wrong.
The incident follows last week’s Waffle House tragedy where a 29-year-old white gunman killed four people of color inside a Tennessee location and was able to evade police for 24 hours before he was safely arrested and initially granted $2 million bond that was later revoked.
Clemons, meanwhile, was booked for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, and released on bond Sunday morning. Footage of the incident has been drawing outrage, and comes on the heels of Starbucks announcing a racial bias training course amid boycotts after two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia location for doing nothing.
See footage of Clemons’ arrest in the video below.