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An incident at an Alabama Waffle House where a Black woman was brutally arrested and had her top pulled down and breast exposed while being handcuffed by Alabama police has sparked outrage.
The 25-year-old woman, Chikesia Clemons, asked for a manager after a Waffle House employee tried to charge her for using plastic utensils. Instead, while she was waiting, police were called. The ensuing violent arrest was captured on video by Clemons’ friend Canita Adams. The recording has now gone viral.
The incident is being likened to the Starbucks debacle last week where two Black men, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, were arrested by Philadelphia police after waiting in the coffee house for a business colleague.
Clemons’s mother, Chiquitta Clemons-Howard, said her daughter was simply trying to get her check adjusted after the employee rang up the order. Clemons thought she was waiting for the district manager’s business card, she said, but instead was met by cops and handcuffed minutes later.
In the video, the Saraland Police can be seen throwing Clemons to the ground aggressively, shoving her head and neck, and in the melee, her breasts were exposed. One officer said he would break her arm if she didn’t comply. Clemons was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Her mom posted $1,000 bond and she was released the same day.
The Saraland Police Department is investigating the incident, according to Det. Collette Little, a spokeswoman and released this statement.
“The Saraland Police Department is aware of the arrest at Waffle House and the accompanying video on social media,” the statement said. “The situation is being thoroughly reviewed and is under active investigation right now. Our department strives for transparency and we encourage our community to be aware of current events.”
Adding insult to injury, a Waffle House spokesperson issued a statement supporting the actions of police officers:
Waffle House spokesman Pat Warner said that though the company is “still obtaining and reviewing information,” it believes there is reason to question Clemons’s version of how the incident played out.
“[I]t’s fair to say that the information we have received at this point differs significantly from what has reportedly been attributed to Ms. Clemons and strongly supports the actions taken by the Saraland Police Department,” Warner said.
“The Saraland Police Department is conducting its own investigation and we encourage you to contact them for additional information.”
This is a bad week for the restaurant chain. Over the weekend, four people were killed at a Tennessee Waffle House by Travis Reinking.