Popular restaurant chain Waffle House is making headlines yet again, this time amid fallout over viral video of a North Carolina officer putting a young Black man in a chokehold and slamming him to the ground.
The incident unfolded outside the diner in Warsaw, N.C. on Saturday, May 5.
Anthony Wall, 22, told ABC 11 he had just finished taking his 16-year-old sister to prom and stopped into Waffle House for a bite to eat. Wall said he got into a verbal altercation with several staffers at the restaurant, after which the police were called.
Moments later, the young man found himself being choked, slammed to the ground and led away in handcuff by an officer.
“I was pretty much trying to scream for air and trying to breathe because he was holding my throat and that’s when I got aggressive with him because you are choking me,” Wall, who is Black, told the station.
Warsaw Police Chief Eric Southerland said the department is currently investigating the incident. It remains unclear what may have led to the officer’s use of force.
“… We have also reached out to the District Attorney’s Office to make him aware of the investigation,” Southerland said in a statement. “Once the investigation is complete and the District Attorney has a chance to review the case, we will provide the public with an update on the findings.”
Authorities charged Wall with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct for the argument that took place inside the restaurant, News & Observer reported. The man took responsibility for his behavior toward the Waffle House employees but said he felt the officer’s actions were totally unjustified.
“Your hands should have never been around my neck like that if my hands were in the air,” he said.
Footage of the incident shows a white cop pressing the man against the restaurant’s front window then whipping him around before putting his hands around the young man’s neck. The officer then slams the teen to the pavement, pinning him down and bystanders watch in horror.
The officer in the video hasn’t been identified.