The arrest of a black woman at a Waffle House in Saraland, Alabama, has outraged local activists. Captured on video and posted to Facebook, the footage shows two white officers wrestling the customer to the ground exposing her bare breasts in the process. Authorities say that the matter is being investigated.
A restaurant employee had called the Saraland Police Department (SPD) after Chikesia Clemons questioned an additional fee on her bill for plasticware, according to WALA Fox 10 News. Clemons said that on a prior visit, she was given the utensils free of charge.
In the now-viral video, the woman appeared to be calm and repeatedly asked the officers why they were grabbing her arms and trying to detain her. Clemons maintained that she had done nothing wrong.
The situation quickly escalated as the officers could be seen wrestling the woman down to the floor pulling down her top in the process. The officers ignored witness requests to cover the woman. Clemons was forced to roll over on her stomach while one of the officers pinned her down and searched her.
The video footage has outraged members of the local community, who are demanding answers from the Saraland Police Department. Pritchard City Councilman Lorenzo Martin went to the station, but officials refused to speak with him.
Fox 10 News reported that Clemons was held in custody for several hours. She posted bail and was released at about 5 a.m. on Sunday morning. There is no word on what charges Clemons faces.
Saraland Police Public Information Officer Collette Little issued a statement acknowledging the video which has since been deleted from Facebook. Little confirmed that the department is aware of the incident and that SPD has opened an investigation into the matter. The department will issue an official response once the review is completed.
The mayor and Saraland’s public safety director are said to have been notified of the arrest, but have not yet released any statements. The video has since been posted to a Tumblr account and continues to make the rounds on social media.
Warning: This video contains graphic language, violence, and nudity.