Waffle House defends Alabama officers in controversial arrest caught on video
Waffle House on Monday defended police intervention at an Alabama restaurant where a woman’s arrest, captured on video, raised questions about possible mistreatment at the hands of police.
Video posted online showed officers arguing with a woman and then wrestling her to the floor as diners looked on early Sunday inside the restaurant in Saraland, near Mobile.
During the arrest and physical struggle with officers, according to Fox 10, the video showed the woman’s dress was pulled, exposing her upper body.
The NAACP has called the arrest troubling, and protesters stood outside the restaurant with signs. The woman is black, and the officers are white.
“What are you doing?” the woman could be heard screaming on the video. “I’m about to break your arm, that’s what I’m about to do,” a police officer responded.
Three officers were visible in the video.
It was unclear from the video what caused the dispute, but Mobile-area media quoted witnesses as saying the woman objected to being charged for plastic eating utensils.
In a statement released by Waffle House spokesman Greg Rollings, the Georgia-based company said it had information that “differs significantly” from claims by the woman.
“After reviewing our security video of the incident and eye witness accounts, police intervention was appropriate,” the statement said. The company didn’t provide any details about what occurred.
A statement issued by the Saraland Police Department said the city’s public safety director and mayor were aware of the arrest and video, which gained traction on social media.
“Our department strives for transparency and we encourage our community to be aware of current events,” the police said in a statement, noting an investigation was under way. “When the facts of the investigation are gathered, we will have a response.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.