Waffle House was in the news for several reasons this weekend. One story is certainly getting much more attention than the other. The more popular one is about a Black man disarming a shooter at a Tennessee Waffle House.
And the second one is about a woman who was arrested for nothing, similar to the situation with the two men in the Philadelphia Starbucks.
According to AL.com, the altercation began at a Waffle House in Saraland when Chikesia Clemons, 25, asked about the protocol for plastic utensils.
After Clemons ordered her food, she asked for plastic utensils. The employees told her that would be an additional charge of 50 cents.
Clemons and her friend Canita Adams told the employee that they’d place an order at the same location the night before and had not been charged for utensils. The employee suddenly cancelled the order. After that, Clemons asked for the contact information for Waffle House’s district manager.
Sometime after Clemons’ request, the police were called.
Clemons’ mother Chiquitta Clemons-Howard, told AL.com, “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. 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.’”
Instead, this happened.
Never explaining why she was being arrested, officers, dragged Clemons out of the chair she was sitting in, pulled her limbs, exposed her breasts and at one point placed their hand around her neck. The whole time, Clemons repeatedly asked, ‘What are you doing?’
In response, one officer said, ‘I’ll break your arm, that’s what I’m about to do.’
Clemons asked the officers why she was being arrested but no reason was given.
Clemons was ultimately charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Her mother paid her $1,000 bond on Sunday morning.
NAACP President David Smith released a statement on incident, saying they would be gathering facts on the incident. The Saraland Police Department also said they would be investigating the matter.
“The Saraland Police Department is aware of the arrest at Waffle House and the accompanying video on social media,” a department statement read. “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.”
A Waffle House spokesperson seems to be siding with the actions of the police. The spokesperson, Pat Warner, told AL.com they are “still obtaining and reviewing information” but believe there is reason to question Clemons’ version of events.
“It’s fair to say that the information we have received at this point differs significantly from what has reported been attributed to Ms. Clemons and strongly supports the actions taken by the Saraland Police Department.”
I can’t imagine what type of verbal actions Clemons could have taken to deserve this type of physical retaliation, not to mention the sheer humiliation of being exposed and dragged on the floor while other diners continued to eat in the restaurant.