The violent arrest of a Black woman inside a Waffle House in Saraland, Ala. has caused an uproar among members of the community who are now demanding justice on the young lady’s behalf.
Shocking video of the April 22 incident shows Saraland officers drag Chikesia Clemons, 25, from her chair and onto the floor as they struggled to arrest her over the weekend. One of the officers threatened to break Clemons’ arm, put a hand on her throat, and exposed her breasts in the process of trying to flip her over to place her in handcuffs.
“Injustice to one is injustice to all,” one protester told station WPMI. “We all have to come together and we have to stop spending our money where people don’t want our business,”
Clemons, who was reportedly unhappy after a waitress tried to charge her 50 cents for plastic utensils, pleaded with questions, asking officers why she was being arrested.
“What did I do?!” she screamed.
Locals angered by the incident protested at the Waffle House on Sunday afternoon, demanding answers to why things went down the way they did, WPMI reported. Demonstrators occupied the eatery carrying signs and chanting, “No justice, no peace. No racist police.”
The peaceful protest took a turn once police arrived, however, leading to several tense altercations between protesters and responding officers. One person was detained and arrested, according to WPMI.
Clemons’ mother, Chaketa Clemons-Howard, said she simply wants justice for her daughter.
“I feel like she was treated unfairly,” Clemons-Howard said at an NAACP meeting Sunday evening. “I think the things that were shown were very impulsive to not only myself as a woman, but to my child.”
The Saraland Police Department has since determined that officers were justified in their actions, saying the cellphone video taken by Clemons’ friend, Canita Adams, didn’t tell the whole story. The department released a portion of the 911 call from the Waffle House on Monday, in which a worker complained of two women and man who came in acting “drunk and disorderly,” The New York Times reported.
Surveillance footage of the incident also reportedly showed the women cursing and threatening restuarant employees, Detective Brian Mims said at a press conference. Mims maintained race did not play a role in Clemons’ subsequent arrest.