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Woman wrangled to the floor in Waffle House found guilty of disorderly conduct

in Politics & Social Justice/Race and Ethnicity by

“My heart is full of rage and anger!!! Lord, please help me!!!!” The tweet sent by 25-year-old Chikesia Clemmons after a Mobile County Circuit Court judge ruled that she was guilty of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

During a late night trial on Monday, a Saraland Municipal Court judge sentenced Clemons to 10 days in jail, $400 in fines and mandated to pay additional court costs.

“The judge and all those folk in there in that court tonight were wrong,” said Tamika Mallory, outside of the courtroom movements after the verdict.

Clemons’ lawyer, Marcus Foxx, a Howard Law alumnus who works on Civil Rights cases said, “We expect to take this case to the next level.”

In April, the case of Clemons spanned national attention when released footage showed her being wrestled to the ground by three white Saraland, Alabama police officers. This following a verbal dispute with a white woman manager over paying for plastic cutlery at a Wafflehouse restaurant in the suburbs of Mobile. When officers arrived, Clemons, a Black woman, refused to leave, citing that she had done nothing wrong.

The confrontation turned physical, resulting in the officers grabbing her neck and twisting her arm while she yelled in agony. One officer said that he would “break” it if Clemons did not comply. The most alarming scene from her forcible detainment occurred when her breasts popped out of her cropped outfit and were left exposed. As well, her dress hiked up to almost show her genital area.

| Read Woolworth’s to Wafflehouse: Black women, food service and a history of refusal

Protests ensued with a call by activists to boycott Wafflehouse. In late April, the coalition activist group, Color of Change, delivered a petition with almost 50,000 signatures to prosecutors to drop the charges due to the violent way Clemons was handled by officers.

This was the first in  a string of racially-charged incidents between Black patrons at the 24-hour diner franchise mostly located in the South. On May 9, police officers rough-housed a 22-year-old John Wall, to the ground at a Warsaw, North Carolina Wafflehouse after an argument with Wafflehouse employees.

Wall, a member of the LGBTQ community had just escorted his 16-year-old sister to her prom. During the argument he said that employees used homophobic slurs against him. Then in June, a Fort Walton Beach, Florida manager phoned cops because a Black couple disputed charges of a drink on their final tab. In all cases, the police were white, while the customers were Black.

Foxx filed an appeal shortly thereafter.

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