Saraland Waffle House Arrest Sparks Controversy

Apr 24, 2018

A police department in south Alabama says it's investigating after video showed a black woman being knocked down by police and arrested inside a restaurant.

The NAACP is calling the arrest troubling, and protestors have stood outside the restaurant with picket signs.

In a news conference yesterday, police in the Mobile suburb of Saraland said they responded after employees reported trouble with a woman who appeared drunk and had been asked to leave for bringing in what was believed to be alcohol. When they arrived, witnesses said the woman, Chikesia Clemons, had indicated she might have a gun and might shoot people.

Video posted online shows officers arguing with a woman and then wrestling her to the floor as diners look on. Three officers are visible in the video.

In the video, one officer can be heard telling Clemons he is going to break her arm. Police say the statement was not meant as a threat, but as a warning that he could hurt her if she continued to resist arrest.

The confrontation quickly gained traction on social media, where some compared it to two black men who were arrested for trespassing at a Starbucks in Philadelphia.

A Waffle House spokesman says after reviewing security video and eyewitness accounts, “police intervention was appropriate.” The company didn’t elaborate with any details.