Police justify use of force on black woman in Alabama Waffle House, releases video and witness testimony
The police officials stated that the witness, which included six employees and one customer, told the officers that the women were using profanities and were loud.
Local law enforcement in Saraland, Alabama justified their use of force on an unarmed black woman during a press conference on Monday afternoon.
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 police department investigators released a video evidence and witness testimony from the scene on Monday, which reportedly included limited camera angles from inside the restaurant. The clip also did not show the woman, Chikesia Clemons, being wrestled to the floor.
Saraland's Public Information Officer, Detective Collette Little, during the press conference, played the initial phone call which was made by the eatery's employee to 911, shortly after Clemons and her friends entered the restaurant. Reports state that the call was made by an employee named Ally, who claimed that three people had entered the establishment with alcohol and were acting "drunk and disorderly."
The detective played three other videos, which showed different camera angles. According to AL.com, the videos did not contain audio, neither did they show the final arrest of the woman.
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 the 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, reports state.