The same day a gunman killed four people with an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle at a Waffle House outside Nashville and fled, another incident happened at a Waffle House in Alabama.
On Sunday morning, two police officers in Saraland, north of Mobile, wrestled a woman to the ground, exposing her breasts during the struggle and prompting comparisons to two black men arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks earlier this month.
Chiquitta Clemons-Howard, mother of the woman in the video, told AL.com the dispute arose after her daughter refused to pay an extra 50 cents for plastic utensils.
“They didn’t even ask her to leave, she was waiting for them to give her the district manager’s card so she could file a complaint on one of the waitresses,” Clemons-Howard told the outlet. “When they went to go get the card, that’s when the police showed up. The officer should’ve come in and said we need you to leave.”
The video that has gone viral shows Chikesia Clemons, 25, sitting on a chair at the diner, as one of the officers grabs her neck and right wrist in an attempt to subdue her. She soon appears conscious of her tube top, and raises her arms to cover her bust line.
“You’re not going to grab on me like that, no,” Clemons tells the officer, who appears to speak to another officer off-camera in the video filmed by Clemons’s friend, Canita Adams.
What happens next is unclear. AL.com published an edited version of Adams’s video that jumps to the moment Clemons and the two officers go to the ground in a violent tumble. It is unclear from the video who initiated the struggle that forced Clemons and the officers to the floor.
“What are you doing?” Clemons asks as the struggle continues on the tile floor.
“I’ll break your arm, that’s what I’m about to do,” an officer says.
The struggle continues, with officers demanding Clemons to stop “resisting” as her breast is exposed.
At one point, an officer places his hand around her neck.
“You’re choking me!” Clemons cries out.
The officer releases his grip when a third officer nearby gestures with his hand. Clemons was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, her mother told AL.com.
Clemons, Clemons-Howard and Adams could not be reached for comment.
The Saraland Police Department also did not return a request for comment.
The incident sparked a sit-in protest at the store Sunday afternoon, and prompted responses from the NAACP and celebrities.
In a statement to AL.com, Waffle House spokesman Pat Warner said the company is evaluating the incident but believes there is reason to doubt Clemons’s version of events.
“[I]t’s fair to say that the information we have received at this point differs significantly from what has reportedly been attributed to Ms. Clemons and strongly supports the actions taken by the Saraland Police Department,” he told the outlet.
The Mobile chapter of the NAACP told AL.com it was also gathering information about the incident.