In a video that has gone viral on social media, three officers are seen throwing a black woman to the floor after they were called in when she reportedly refused to pay for utensils at Waffle House, an American chain restaurant.
In the video, the woman is heard repeatedly asking officers, “What are you doing?” to which one answers, “I’ll break your arm, that’s what I’m about to do”.
The video has sparked outrage on social media, with many going so far as to call for a boycott of Waffle House, a cultural staple for many Southern Black youth.
Saraland Police Department which responded to the incident says they stand by their arrest, citing that the incident had nothing to do with plastic utensils and “everything to do with the alcoholic beverage the guests brought in with them”.
Waffle House released the statement below on its Twitter account, standing by the ‘appropriate’ actions of the police:
We are still obtaining and reviewing information. However, the information we have received at this point differs significantly from what has reportedly been attributed to Ms. Clemons. After reviewing our security video of the incident and eye witness accounts, police intervention was appropriate. The Saraland Police Department is conducting its own investigation. We take this matter very seriously and think it is important for all those involved or interested in the matter to exercise caution until the facts are developed.
View the video and reactions below:
Viral video shows white officers in Alabama throwing a black woman to floor at Waffle House, threatening to “break” her arm
The woman was waiting for a district manager’s phone number from the waitress after she refused to pay for utensils for her order https://t.co/WQ1rUfyovs pic.twitter.com/YWsNWRKy4v
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) April 23, 2018
The server told her there would be a 50 cent charge for plasticware. She said she wasn’t charged that with a to go order a few days prior. The server then cancelled her order. She asks for the @WaffleHouse corporate # to file complaint. While waiting, cops show. You saw the rest.
— The Pontificator (@OfficialMrCatoe) April 23, 2018
“this never should have happened” is what we hear it all the time, but yet it continues to happen and nobody is learning a lesson from it. Nobody. Tells you all you need to know about police.
— Dad Bod (@junk5150) April 23, 2018
Indeed. It is disgusting how often this racist & fascist response from police occurs over no violation of the law. Ugh! I am so angry about this.
— Margret W. (@GManfan64) April 23, 2018
What if, and hear me out, what if those officers were trained in some way? You know, taught how to engage people and……..ok, yeah, REALLY?
I’m being told they are trained?!?!?!?!? WTAF
— Aton (@Aton_Eloh) April 23, 2018
The cops should have told the waitress to give a paying customer a damn plastic fork and to stop wasting their time with ridiculous phone calls. This is not difficult.
— Michelle H (@MichelleMarched) April 23, 2018
Maybe on a to-go order, where they want to add a mandatory “boxing fee”?
There’s a lot we don’t know right now. Except that it doesn’t take three male officers to remove a person from a WaHo.
— 23Tallboy (@Tallboy_The23rd) April 23, 2018
Please do me a favor and do not go back to any Waffle House ban them boycott boycott
— victoria (@Vickiefisher13) April 23, 2018
So we have another person of color who has done nothing wrong, an employee that is using the police to solve their issues for them, & out of control police that have escalated this non-incident into a near tragedy. The cops are like the Gestapo now, what the hell is going on?
— Jen Q (@thedogearedbook) April 23, 2018
I know. I meant it rhetorically. And yeah, social media is clearly a factor in how aware we have all become, but what really gets me is that exposure of these cops has zero effect. Nothing is changing. Its just a real insidious cycle here that is terrifying.
— Jen Q (@thedogearedbook) April 23, 2018
This is shameful. #ShameOnYou America. I will pass this on to my friends around the world. I will call on all of them to boycott the US. A country still marred in blatant #racism & disregard for human rights & dignity. #BoycottUSA #FuckUSA #Fucktrump ???
— Lolo O’Clock? (@_pleiade_) April 23, 2018
This makes me sad. The vast majority of us aren’t like this. I wish you didn’t have to see these Americans who are glorified in the media.
— Skylar Seigler (@skylar_seigler) April 23, 2018
Why do people use, “many of us aren’t like that” as a defense for widespread evil acts. We aren’t really concerned with the “majority” of Whites who “aren’t like this” so they ought not be mentioned here. Focus on the ones that ARE being discussed unless you want to distract.
— C.C. Derek (@derekchichi) April 23, 2018
What is going on with the police? She didn’t threaten to shoot anybody!! So she said a swear word? Big deal! They wouldn’t dare tackle a white woman in the same manner! What would justify this actions from them?
— Nancy Stinson (@Dogmommaz3) April 23, 2018
Can’t wait to hear how they explain this one!
3 officers throw this woman to the floor, didn’t say why they arrested her, said that they would break her arm while she was waiting for a manager to help her. Yet again #BlackLivesMatter cc @NYjusticeleague @ShaunKing @MichaelSkolnik https://t.co/vBGhvqOBkn
— Michael Blake (@MrMikeBlake) April 24, 2018
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