Waffle House Doubles Down On Chikesia Clemons Arrest As Activists Call For Boycott
Activists protested at Waffle House’s Atlanta headquarters on Monday, demanding the restaurant chain drop charges against customer Chikesia Clemons, who was violently arrested at an Alabama location on April 22.
Waffle House, however, doubled down on its defense of employees who called the police, and claimed Clemons was threatening the workers with violence.
The activists, including those representing causes like March for Our Lives, the Georgia Alliance for Social Justice, and the NAACP, asked Waffle House to withdraw charges against Clemons, who was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The activists also asked Waffle House to release video of the incident that “will prove officers threatened Ms. Clemons,” issue a statement rebuking the mishandling of Clemons and take “disciplinary action” against employees involved.
The activists called for a nationwide boycott of Waffle House beginning on Friday.
Clemons, 25, was in a Waffle House in Saraland, Alabama, with a friend when three police officers, summoned by employees, forced her to the floor, exposing her breasts, and handcuffed her, according to a video taken by Clemons’ friend that has since gone viral. Police said Clemons and her friend were drunk and brought alcohol into the restaurant. Clemons, they said, told officers she would “shoot this place up.”
Waffle House quickly released a statement defending the “appropriate” actions of the Saraland Police Department.
Clemons said the arrest has been “so hard” on her. “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,” she said.
“She sees me crying, she starts to cry, so it’s very hard on me at the time right now.” Clemons expressed gratitude to those supporting and defending her.
“I ask you guys continue to be behind me as you fight for justice for me,” she said.
Her attorney, Benjamin Crump, told Sharpton: “There are two independent white women who were in the restaurant that night that said what the waitress did, and, more importantly, what the Saraland police did, Reverend Al, was just unacceptable.”