Disclaimer: Some viewers might find the contents of this video graphic
Just days after Starbucks came under fire for the racist arrest of two African-American men who were just sitting inside one of its Philadelphia locations, a Waffle House in Alabama is drawing severe criticism after a black customer was violently arrested by white police officers who not only manhandled her but also reportedly threatened her with violence, refusing to let go even as her dress was pulled down, exposing her bare chest.
The horrific incident, which was caught on camera by victim’s friend Canita Adams, took place inside a Waffle House in Saraland after the woman, identified as Chikesia Clemons, reportedly asked a female employee for plastic utensils while placing an order. She was informed it would cost 50 cents, which prompted Clemons and Adams to tell the employee they had not been charged for the plastic ware at the restaurant the night before when they had bought food from there.
The employee allegedly responded by canceling the order. Clemons then asked for the contact information of the Waffle House district manager so she could file a compliant. The employee apparently left to get the information — and that’s when the police showed up, according to the victim’s mother, Chiquitta Clemons-Howard.
“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,” she said on behalf of her daughter. “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 appalling video showed a police officer grabbing Clemons while she was sitting next to a window.
“You’re not gonna grab on me like that, no,” she could be heard telling the cop. However, seconds later, three officers had brutally thrown her onto the tile floor and her dress was pulled down as she struggled against the sudden attack.
“What are you doing?” Clemons asked an officer, to which he responded, “I'll break your arm, that's what I'm about to do.”
Clemons-Howard said her daughter was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. She was later released on a $1,000 bond.
“The footage shows the story completely,” the mother added. “My nerves are very, very bad right now.”
The NAACP also released a statement.
“In light of the current situation in our country — such as the arrest of two young black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks coffee shop — we felt it was important for our members to get a first-hand account of the incident, which has now gone viral on social media locally and across the country,” Mobile NAACP President David Smith said in a statement.
While the Waffle House spokesperson Pat Warner has not reportedly commented on the matter as of yet, the police department released a statement saying it was investigating the incident.
“The Saraland Police Department is aware of the arrest at Waffle House and the accompanying video on social media,” said Saraland Police Public Information Officer Collette Little. “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. 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.”
The graphic arrest video can be viewed above.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Julie Dermansky/Corbis via Getty Images