Police and Waffle House corporate executives are defending police intervention at a Saraland, Ala., restaurant where a black woman’s arrest, captured on video, raised questions about mistreatment, reports the Associated Press. Police in the Mobile suburb said they responded when restaurant employees called to report that the woman, Chikesia Clemons, appeared drunk and had been asked to leave for bringing in what employees believed to be alcohol. When they arrived, witnesses told them that Clemons had indicated she might have a gun and might shoot people. A video shows three police officers wrestling her to the floor and arresting her while she and a friend complain.
In the video, one officer is heard telling Clemons he is going to break her arm. Police say the dispute began when Clemons and a friend disputed the company’s policy of charging an extra 50 cents for using plastic utensils to eat inside the restaurant. Clemons is charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. She’s free on $1,000 bail. The NAACP has called the arrest troubling. Some have likened the incident to the recent arrest of two black men for trespassing at a Philadelphia Starbucks. In a statement, Georgia-based Waffle House said it had information that “differs significantly” from claims by the woman. “After reviewing our security video of the incident and eye witness accounts, police intervention was appropriate,” the statement said. The company didn’t provide any details.