Yet another video of a violent arrest by a White police officer of an unarmed Black person has surfaced and gone viral on the internet. This time, it involves Chikesia Clemons, a 25-year old Black woman from Alabama, who was reportedly just asking for plastic utensils at Waffle House when police forcefully restrained her leaving her breasts exposed.
Chiquitta Clemons-Howard, her mother, claims that her daughter and her companions got upset when they asked for plastic utensils but they were charged with 50 cents — which they said they weren’t charged before.
The staff canceled the order but did not ask Clemons to leave. Clemons asked for the district manager’s contact information. As they were waiting, police arrived, said Clemons-Howard. The situation escalated from there.
However, Saraland Police officers assert that the Sunday morning incident happened because of the alcoholic beverages Clemons’ group brought inside the restaurant. On a press conference held on Monday, police said that when they were asked to leave, two of her companions complied but Clemons did not.
According to witness accounts, instead of leaving, Clemons went to the counter, yelled, and said profane words.
A video of her arrest, recorded by her friend Canita Adams, shows three white male police officers trying to put Clemons in handcuffs. She was thrown on the floor, causing her shirt to fall low and exposing her breasts.
Clemons is heard asking the officer, “What are you doing?” One of the officers responds, “I’m about to break your arm, that’s what I’m about to do.”
Saraland Detective Collette Little explained that the statement about Clemons’ arm was “not a threat.” Instead, it is a warning of what would happen if Clemons continue putting her arms behind their back.
Det. Little also claimed that Clemons has “appeared to be intoxicated.” As evidence, they released a still photo taken from a surveillance video where Clemons was holding a garbage can near her mouth while she was being booked to jail.
Clemons has been charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, then released on $1,000 bond. Her two companions aren’t facing any charges.
Mobile NAACP President David Smith said in a statement that the organization is investigating the incident.
“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.
Waffle House, however, stands firm that what the police did was “appropriate” and issued a statement through Twitter.
“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,” they tweeted. “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.”
Furthermore, Det. Little, a spokeswoman with Saraland Police Department, issued a statement saying they will provide more details after further investigation.
“The Saraland Police Department is aware of the arrest at Waffle House and the accompanying video on social media,” the statement said. “The situation is being thoroughly reviewed and is under active investigation right now. Our department strives for transparency and we encourage our community to be aware of current events.”