A video of Alabama police wrestling a black woman to the ground and threatening to break her arm during an arrest at a Waffle House has sparked outrage on social media but the restaurant chain said the officers' actions appear to have been justified.
Chikesia Clemons was arrested early Sunday by three white Saraland police officers inside a Waffle House early Sunday and charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
The video of the arrest shows officers arguing with Clemons before pulling her from a chair onto the tile floor in an effort to handcuff her. In the process, Clemons' top is pulled down, exposing her breasts.
"What are you doing?" Clemons exclaims.
"I'm about to break your arm, that what I'm about to do," one of the officers says.
The video does not show the events that led to the arrest, but Clemons' mother, Chiquitta Clemons-Howard, told the local news site AL.com that the incident began when Clemons requested plastic utensils with her order and was told by an employee that it would cost her 50 cents.
Clemons told the employee she had not had to pay for plasticware at the same restaurant the night before, at which point the employee canceled the order and Clemons asked to complain to a manager.
Waffle House spokesman Greg Rollings disputed that version of events, saying the information the company reviewed "differs significantly" from Clemons' account.
"After reviewing our security video of the incident and eyewitness accounts, police intervention was appropriate," Rollings told the Associated Press in a statement, without providing further details about what occurred.
But Clemons-Howard insisted "the footage shows the story completely" about what happened during her daughter's arrest.
In the video, Clemons insists she didn't do anything wrong and only asked for the corporate number. One of the police officers tells her that he heard her use "the f-bomb," but no other reasons for the arrest are audible in the video.
The Saraland Police Department said it is investigating the arrest.
The head of the Mobile NAACP chapter compared the incident to the controversial arrest of two black men for trespassing at a Philadelphia Starbucks earlier this month and told AL.com that the organization is looking into the incident.
In that incident, Starbucks quickly apologized and announced that it would close 8,000 stores for its employees to undergo racial sensitivity training.
Several people staged a protest in the Waffle House parking lot Sunday afternoon.
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