Race & Identity
Chikesia Clemons Speaks Publicly About Violent Waffle House Arrest: 'I Can’t Eat, I Can’t Sleep, I’m Constantly Crying'
Women's March leaders have also spoken out, demanding police drop all charges.
Chikesia Clemons, whose arrest by officers at an Alabama Waffle House sparked outrage after video of the incident went viral, has spoken out publicly about the incident in a TV interview.
"I’m just taking it day by day, it’s just so hard on me. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, I’m constantly crying. I have a 6-year-old daughter. I’m trying to be strong for her,” Clemons told Al Sharpton on "PoliticsNation" Sunday.
The 25-year-old explained that she's grateful for the outpour of support she's been receiving from people.
"I’m so appreciative of the love and support you guys have been giving. I ask you guys continue to be behind me as you fight for justice for me," she said.
Leaders of the Women's March are standing by Clemons and taking the popular restaurant chain to task for its tepid response to the arrest of Clemons.
“What we saw on that video was a brutal assault and an act of sexual violence perpetrated by law enforcement in your establishment,” wrote Women's March in a statement they shared on Twitter. “This is victim blaming at its most dangerous. We call on Waffle House to demand that the Saraland Police Department drop all charges against Ms. Clemons and offer her a public apology.”
On April 22, Saraland police officers slammed Clemons on the ground, threatening to break her arm and exposing her chest as they proceeded to arrest her. An employee called cops on Clemons after she demanded to speak to a manager and refused to pay for plastic cutlery.
“We will not stay silent while your company further victimizes a black woman and survivor of police and sexual violence by supporting the charges against her,” the statement continued.
Reports surrounding Clemons' arrest alleged that she was drunk, slurring her speech and threatening to shoot up the restaurant prior to officers arrival.
However, witness statements have refuted those claims. Two women said she was speaking clearly before and after officers arrived on the scene.
"I would have promptly left if there had been a mention of a weapon," said one woman in her statement.
Activists have called for boycotts of the breakfast chain until there's reconciliation. Passionate supporters also want the three police officers involved to be fired.
One of the outspoken leaders of the march, activist Tamika D. Mallory has been vocal on Twitter about the outrageous arrest. She has outed the woman who allegedly wanted to charge Clemons extra for the cutlery.
I need some clarity. @WaffleHouse, is this the employee (Goldie) whom wanted to charge #ChikesiaClemons $.50 for plastic silverware causing a disturbance & the police being called to assault a black woman? Is this the woman you are defending? #JusticeForChikesia pic.twitter.com/yjq4Rqfb3r— Tamika D. Mallory (@TamikaDMallory) April 26, 2018
Mallory also lambasted R. Kelly and Bill Cosby supporters who are relatively quiet about Clemons.
Additionally, she's made everyone aware how she feels about victim blaming.
"If you come to my feed today talking about ANYTHING but BLACK PEOPLE being brutalized and killed, you will be blocked. Be very clear," Mallory wrote on Twitter.
People are so busy attacking the next victim on social media that they don’t have time to support a black woman who was stripped & assaulted by police in .@WaffleHouse. Watching how quick ppl r to respond to one thing over ppl who look like me makes me ANGRY AS HELL!— Tamika D. Mallory (@TamikaDMallory) April 26, 2018