Alabama Waffle House justifies black woman's arrest as Black Lives Matter activists call for boycott
The local law enforcement also justified their use of force on the unarmed black woman last week on Monday during a press conference
American restaurant chain, Waffle House, on Monday doubled down on its defense of its employees and justified the arrest of a black woman in its Saraland, Alabama outlet, claiming that she was threatening the workers with violence. The restaurant's justification came amidst protest by Black Lives Matter (BLM) activists at its Atlanta headquarters on Monday.
The BLM activists demanded that the restaurant chain drop its charges against customer Chikesia Clemons, who was violently arrested by police officials in Saraland on April 22. However, shortly after the Waffle House's firm stance on the woman's arrest, the activists called for a nationwide boycott of the eatery, beginning on Friday.
The incident came to light after a video went viral on social media, showing three white police officers from Saraland Police Department aggressively wrestling a black woman to the floor at a Waffle House restaurant, nearly stripping her in the process and then arresting her.
The local law enforcement also justified their use of force on the unarmed black woman last week on Monday during a press conference.
The activists protesting outside the Waffle House headquarters also included members of the Georgia Alliance for Social Justice and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
The demonstrators asked the Waffle House to withdraw charges against Clemons, who was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, according to reports. The activists also asked the restaurant chain to release the video of the incident in April which will "prove officers threatened Ms. Clemons," and to release a statement condemning the way the incident was handled.
They also asked Waffle House to take "disciplinary action" against its employees who were involved in the incident.
According to the police report, the incident began around 2:45 am when Clemons reportedly asked a Waffle House employee for plastic utensils after placing an order. A restaurant employee then informed Clemons that she would be required to pay an additional charge of 50 cents for the cutlery, which reportedly initiated an argument, AL.com reported.
Clemons and her friend, Canita Adams, reportedly argued that they had never been asked to pay an extra charge for the cutlery before. The police report added that the employee canceled their order, after which Clemons asked for the restaurant manager's contact information.
While talking to AL.com, Clemons' mother, Chiquitta Clemons-Howard, said that the eatery called the police without giving a warning to her daughter or asking her to leave.
"When they went to go get the card, that's when the police showed up," Clemons-Howard said, adding, "The officer should've come in and said we need you to leave."
The video shows two police officers at the scene as one appears to hold Clemons's wrist, while she says: "You're not going to grab on me...for no reason."
The video then cuts to the officers throwing her to the ground while she says "I haven't done anything."
When the officers attempt to pin her to her ground, the woman asks: "What are you doing?" and the one officer appears to reply, "I'm about to break your arm, that's what I'm about to do."
Clemons was subsequently booked on charges of disorderly conduct, as well as resisting arrest, was placed on a $1,000 bond, according to reports.
The police officials, at a press conference, stated that the witness, which included six employees and one customer, told the officers that the women were using profanities and were loud.