In another case of police using excessive force against Black customers in businesses across the country, another such incident has taken place at a Waffle House in Saraland, Alabama. In the video recorded by a friend of the woman being arrested, three cops can be seen gathered around 25-year-old Chikesia Clemons, after employees at a Waffle House called the police on the group of three people.
Two cops are seen violently throwing the woman to the ground, which causes her breasts to be exposed as her top falls down in the scuffle. The incident has led protesters to hold a sit-in at the restaurant and the local chapter of the NAACP has also put out a statement in regards to the incident.
The video starts with Ms. Clemons sitting on a chair and one of the officers proceeds to grab her by the wrist and throat, in an attempt to place her under arrest. As the officer aggressively grabs her, she responds, “You’re not going to grab on me like that, no!” As she‘s then subdued on the tile floor of the restaurant, Ms. Clemons continues to ask, “What are you doing?” One of the officers reply to her, “I’ll break your arm, that’s what I’m about to do!”
One of the cops places his hand around the young woman’s neck, at which point a third officer gestures to him about his hand placement. Ms. Clemons can be heard saying, “You’re choking me!” Ms. Clemons’ mother said her daughter was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
According to Chiquitta Clemons-Howard, her daughter told her the incident started after she refused to pay an additional $0.50 for plastic utensils. Clemons-Howard said her daughter had asked the employees for a business card for the store’s manager in order to make a complaint about the way her group was treated. She said, “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. 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 Waffle House corporate office issued an anonymous statement defending the conduct of their employees and said Ms. Clemons and her witnesses left key parts of the incident out of their story.
Chance the Rapper took to Twitter to defend Ms. Clemons by putting out this tweet, “Protect our women. This is wrong, this is unjust and this happens to alot of women when there are NO cameras around. Stand with our women. Defend their voice, and their right to ask why they’re being handled, being removed, being CHOKED. Be infuriated. Be willing to fight.” Chance ended his tweet with an emoji of a middle finger and a pig snout, in an apparent insult to the police.