6 Things Everyone Should Know About Chikesia Clemons' Arrest At A Waffle House In Alabama
There is a lot of misinformation about the Alabama Waffle House arrest.
April 26, 2018 at 4:24 pm
As more information comes out about the Sunday, April 22 arrest of Chikesia Clemons at a Waffle House in Mobile Alabama, reports began to contradict each other getting closer to the true accounts surrounding the arrest.
Video from that morning showed the victim being slammed to the floor by police officers and brutalized to the point her body was exposed. Since then, Waffle House has issued a statement in support of the officer's actions and activists are urging for more national press and outrage over Clemons' violent treatment by police. Here's what else you should know about the case:
1. Police Were Called Over $0.50 Utensils
At a Saraland, Alabama Waffle House on April 22 at 2:45 a.m., 25-year-old Mobile resident Chikesia Clemons was wrestled to the ground and threatened by police during an arrest over 50 cent-cutlery. Blavity reported the victim told an employee that she did not previously have to pay the extra 50 cents for the four utensils. But the employee insisted that she had to pay. Then, the Waffle House employee reportedly canceled Clemons' order and police were called out after Clemons asked for the Waffle House district manager's contact information.
2. Police Were Reportedly Told Clemons And Her Friends Were Drunk, Had A Gun
Officers were called at 2:30 a.m. by an employee who said a manager told them to call about two black females and one black male who had entered the Waffle House with alcohol. The trio was told they could not drink at the restaurant and allegedly responded belligerently prior to the call. There were reports claiming that the two women were threatening to “shoot this place up.” According to The Washington Post, surveillance cam footage showed Clemons and another woman at a table and they were joined by an unidentified man.
3. Eyewitness Accounts Dispell The Claims
AL.com reports two witnesses said in their eyewitness statements that Clemons did not appear to be inebriated as previous accounts claimed. She was speaking clearly before and after officers arrived on the scene, refuting more claims that Clemons was slurring her speech. The witnesses also said that police immediately confronted Clemons as they entered the restaurant.
"I would have promptly left if there had been a mention of a weapon," said one woman in her statement.
4. Backlash Came Swift Against Waffle House
Protests broke mere hours after the incident. Many called for a national boycott of the famous breakfast restaurant chain. In response, the company released a statement supporting the three Saraland Police officers. "After reviewing our security video of the incident and eyewitness accounts, police intervention was appropriate," the statement said. Family attorney Benjamin Crump called the incident racially motivated and called for a boycott of that particular restaurant.
This is #chikesiaclemons who was assaulted, threatened, choked, exposed and brutalized by 3 Saraland Policemen captured on video at the Waffle House where the waitress had an argument with her and girls b/c she told them they had to pay 4 plastic utensils. Watch the video. pic.twitter.com/5uEH8JZ9jB
— Benjamin Crump, Esq. (@AttorneyCrump) April 25, 2018
5. The Security Videos Aren't Reliable
Video shot by friend Canita Adams shows that Clemons was sitting down prior to being slammed to the floor by officers. In that short clip, Clemons can be heard asking police officers, “What are you doing?” as they slammed her down to the floor. One officer responds, “I’m about to break your arm, that’s what I'm about to do.”
Also, as writer Shaun King pointed out, one of the officers had their hands around the victim's neck.
Listen to me.
What police and @WaffleHouse did to this young woman, Chikesia Clemons, was a gross violation of her civil & human rights.
They threatened her, slammed her to the ground, choked her, and ripped her clothes off.
Don’t you dare go to Waffle House again. pic.twitter.com/GB9RnpsDNc
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) April 26, 2018
Security footage presented at a press conference yesterday did not have audio and showed footage from three different angles. It only showed Clemons and her friends enter the restaurant and leaving after she had been arrested, AL reports.
6. Petitions Have Been Formed Calling For The Officers To Be Fired
In the days following the arrest, petitions were drafted calling for the officers at the center of the incident to be fired. One petition has already garnered 6,279 supporters and closing in on its 7,000 goal. Another has amassed 13,895 of its 14,000 goal. Saraland Police Department is still conducting an investigation into the arrest.