Fifty cents: that's the amount that landed a yet unidentified African-American couple in the back of a police car outside a Waffle House
in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. The couple was overcharged by half a dollar on what should have been a one dollar item. When they confronted the cashier about the discrepancy, instead of changing the price, the employee called the police.
That's when things got out of hand.
Even after the disgruntled customers explained the reason for the argument, the officer completely ignoring their concerns, tells them the bill needs to be paid or they will be arrested. The customers protest saying they want to clear up the issue not steal but, as so often happens the police officer chooses to arrest them than respect them.
The entire interaction was filmed.
The latest incident is the third in a series that have involved the black customers' concerning encounters with Waffle House employees and police.
All three instances were caught on tape. In April, Chikesia Clemons
was arrested at a Waffle House in Saraland, Alabama. Video of the interaction shows several police officers holding her to the ground and exposing her breasts.
A month later, 22-year-old Anthony Wall
was choked by police and slammed to the ground after police were called when he got into an argument with the employees. These latest incidents raise serious questions about how their workers are trained and the company culture. One thing is clear, this type of treatment towards their black clientele cannot continue.
In April, the same month that Ms.Clemons was abused by men in blue, two African-American men in Philadelphia were arrested in a Starbucks. The men were waiting for a third member of their party and had asked to use the bathroom before they had purchased anything. When they were refused access to the restroom they went back to their seat and continued to wait. Again, a cashier unnecessarily called law enforcement and the men were taken away in handcuffs.
Americans all over the country were enraged by the unnecessary need to involve the police. And in order to ensure something like this wouldn't happen again, one month later, Starbucks
shut down all of its 8,000 stores to hold racial bias training for its employees.
In light of the several shocking incidents in the Waffle House, we think they should do the same. Please join Care2 and ask Waffle House to treat their black customers with respect and train their employees on racial bias.