The Mobile County branch of the NAACP is looking into a disturbing arrest of a Black woman at a Saraland, Alabama Waffle House over the weekend.
While Starbucks gears up for racial bias training for its employees after two Black men were arrested for waiting for a friend, the Waffle House is dealing with its own allegations of discrimination following the arrest of 25-year-old Chikesia Clemons, who was violently taken down after an employee called the police.
During the disturbing incident, which was caught on camera, Clemons was wrestled to the ground, which exposed her breasts. When she asked officers, “What are you doing?” one of the men responded, “I’ll break your arm, that’s what I’m about to do.”
According to Clemons and Carnita Adams — the friend who videotaped the encounter — the pair stopped by a local Waffle House early Sunday morning and ordered take out. When they inquired why utensils weren’t included with their order, a Waffle House employee told them they’d have to pay 50-cents for the plasticware. Clemons complained, noting she’d been to the restaurant several times before and had never been charged, and asked for the district manager’s information to file a complaint against the employee. Instead of getting the contact details, the employee called the Saraland police.
“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,” said the victim’s mother, Chiquitta Clemons-Howard. “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.”
According to her mother, Clemons was booked on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest and released on $1000 bond.
Mobile County NAACP President David Smith called the incident disturbing and vowed to help Clemons.
“In light of the current situation in our country — such as the arrest of two young Black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks coffee shop — we felt it was important for our members to get a first-hand account of the incident, which has now gone viral on social media locally and across the country,” Smith said in a statement.
“When incidents like this happen in our own backyard, it is incumbent upon the local NAACP to take a closer look and move the matter to whatever level is appropriate,” he added.
After the incident made news and the video of Clemons’ arrest went viral, several community members participated in a protest at the Waffle House. Clemons’ mother also demanded action.
“What I want is to get justice for my daughter in this case,” Clemons-Howard said.
Officials from the Saraland police department are slated to hold a press conference to discuss Clemons’ arrest on Monday afternoon.