The daughter of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. is calling for the boycott of a Waffle House after a video went viral showing a North Carolina police officer choking and slamming a black man to the ground outside one of the restaurant chain’s eateries.
“Family, let’s stay out of Waffle House until the corporate office legitimately and seriously commits to 1. discussion on racism, 2. employee training and 3. other plans to change; and until they start to implement changes,” Bernice King, the CEO of The King Center, tweeted Thursday.
The Warsaw Police Department is under fire after one of its police officers responded to a local Waffle House on May 5 for a call that one of its patrons, identified later as Anthony Wall, 22, got into an argument with several staff members.
It’s unclear what the argument was about, but once police were called in, Wall, who was dressed in prom attire after taking his little sister to the dance, was taken outside.
WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC LANGUAGE
The video, which Wall posted on Facebook and has been viewed more than 949,000 times, appears to show a police officer grab Wall by the neck, choking him against the restaurant’s window before throwing him to the ground and arresting him.
“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 [he was] choking me,” Wall told ABC 11.
Wall, who was charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, has said he takes full responsibility for the argument with the eatery’s employees. He said the police officer’s actions against him, however, were unjustified because his hands were in the air when he was choked.
Local media identified the police officer as Frank Moss.
Warsaw Police Chief Eric Southerland said in a statement that authorities are currently investigating the incident and Moss’ actions do not reflect what his officers are trained to do in such situations.
“It's not what you're trained to do in incidents like this, but when you're dealing with someone fighting and resisting against an officer, you try to use proper tactics and go for one move, but that might not work because that person is moving or the officer is moving,” Southerland told the News & Observer. “In real-versus-training situations, moves don't always work out like you want them to.”
It’s unclear if there have been any immediate repercussions against the police officer.
The Warsaw Police Department did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment Friday. Since the incident went viral, the police department has also removed its Facebook page.
Meanwhile, the NAACP Legan Defense Fund is demanding the chain restaurant and the police department release any video and audio of what happened that night.
“We’re once again outraged by a video showing police officers using excessive force on an unarmed, non-violent African-American Waffle House customer,” the organization’s Legal Defense Fund president and director-counsel Sherrilyn Ifill said in a statement. “Once again this incident was sparked when a Waffle House employee called the police after the patron allegedly complained about customer service. And once against the police responded with violence."
The May 5 incident is the second time in just a few weeks that police have engaged in controversial actions at a Waffle House.
Last month, at a Waffle House in Indiana, Chikesia Clemons, 25, was wrestled by police officers after she and a friend allegedly acted belligerent inside the eatery. A video of the incident also went viral.
"Neither situation warranted police intervention, let alone such gratuitous use-of-force," Ifill said. "Waffle House must conduct an extensive review and overhaul of its policies to ensure that employees do not needlessly subject customers of color to police contact and brutality."
Waffle House told Fox News on Thursday that it was working with police and also doing an internal investigation of the incident.