Source: Screengrab via YouTube
Police Justify Use Of Force On Woman At Waffle House By Saying She Threatened Employees
Source: Screengrab via YouTube
UPDATE: Saraland, Alabama police officers are defending the recent arrest of a black woman at a Waffle House, claiming that she threatened employees at the restaurant.
"The facts as we understand them at this point, I believe they speak for themselves," Saraville Mayor Howard Rubenstein said, according to Lagniappe Mobile. "I remain totally supportive of our officers and the Saraland Police Department."
Police said that three people — Chikesia Clemons, Canita Adams and an unidentified male — entered the restaurant with what they believe was an open alcoholic beverage, then refused to leave when told they couldn't drink it inside. The group then left but returned shortly after, with Adams and Clemons yelling at employees.
"Words were used towards the employees such as f***, b*****, calling women wh****. They told the Waffle House employees that I'll come over this counter and beat your f****** a**, b**** I'm gonna have your job, you ain't gonna be here tomorrow. Why you was in my business? I may have a gun, I may have anything, I can come back here and shoot this place up if I need to," a witness recounted to Brian Mims, a detective for the case.
Mims also said that there was a dispute over the charge for plastic utensils, but the restaurant "did provide the utensils before they took their order and they were not going to be charged for it."
Read the original story below.
Alabama police are investigating an incident at a Waffle House where a police officer wrestled a black woman to the floor of the restaurant.
The Saraland Police Department is looking into the arrest of 25-year-old Chikesia Clemons after a video of her being violently thrown to the ground at a Waffle House went viral, according to AL.com.
The incident started when Clemons, accompanied with friend Canita Adams, asked for plastic utensils while placing an order at the Waffle House in Saraland early Sunday morning. One of the employees told Clemons that plasticware was an additional 50 cents, to which the 25-year-old said she hadn't been charged for plasticware when buying food from the same Waffle House the night before.
The employee canceled the order, with Clemons asking for the contact information of the district manager for the Saraland Waffle House. During this time, the restaurant called the police on Clemons.
"They didn't even ask her to leave, she was waiting for them to give her the district manager's card so she could file a complaint on one of the waitresses," Chiquitta Clemons-Howard, Clemons' mother, said. "When they went to go get the card, that's when the police showed up. The officer should've come in and said we need you to leave."
The graphic video captures three Saraland officers pulling Clemons from a chair to arrest her. As the altercation continues, the woman's clothes are pulled down, revealing her breasts. Patrons continue to eat as Clemons is wrestled to the ground and placed on her stomach.
"What are you doing?" Clemons asked an officer at one point, to which an officer responded, "I'll break your arm, that's what I'm about to do."
Clemons was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest following the incident.
The Saraland Police Department released a statement on the altercation, saying:
"Saraland's public safety director, Chief J. C. West, and the mayor are aware of the situation and are awaiting the results of the investigation. When the facts of the investigation are gathered, we will have a response. Our department strives for transparency and we encourage our community to be aware of current events."
Pat Werner, a spokesperson for Waffle House, spoke on the incident, saying the company was still obtaining information but believed "there was a reason to question Clemons' account of the incident."
Resident in Alabama have since held protests at the Waffle House location, while the NAACP branch in Mobile, Alabama, have spoken out on the incident.
"When incidents like this happen in our own backyard, it is incumbent upon the local NAACP to take a closer look and move the matter to whatever level is appropriate," Mobile County NAACP President David Smith said.