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Black Customers Handcuffed at Waffle House After Dispute Over 50 Cents

Waitstaff called police after the couple pointed out they were charged $1.50 for a $1 orange juice

rpavich/Flickr

Following a string of incidents that spurred calls for a boycott, Waffle House is again facing scrutiny for calling the police on its customers. Police body-camera footage posted to Facebook by activist and the Intercept columnist Shaun King shows two black customers at a Fort Walton Beach, Florida, location being handcuffed after complaining to waitstaff that they were overcharged for a beverage.

According to King, the couple being handcuffed in the video “refused to pay for a $1.50 overcharge on an orange juice that was listed as $1 on the menu.” After arguing with staff about the price, police were called. The couple ultimately paid for their meals and were not taken into custody, according to Business Insider, which also states that ”the woman returned to the Waffle House location later and received a full refund.”

Police body camera footage of wrongful arrest of Black couple at Waffle House

Here is the horribe body camera footage of this wrongful, illegal arrest at Waffle House. This Black couple was arrested for theft and trespassing. No, they didn't eat the food and refuse to pay. They never even received the damn food. In fact, their money is on the counter as they are being arrested. The man being arrested here refused to pay for a $1.50 overcharge on an orange juice that was listed as $1.00 on the menu. That's all. When they refused to change the charge he demanded to talk to customer service. Waffle House called the police. The couple never stole a thing. Listen to me. Don't you dare go to Waffle House. And shame on the Fort Walton Beach Police Department for this wrongful arrest. Shame on them.

Posted by Shaun King on Wednesday, June 13, 2018

King’s Facebook post on the incident has nearly 1,000 comments, with many urging people to avoid patronizing the Georgia-based diner chain. “Waffle House has not changed and we continue to go there, that’s why they won’t change and why we continue to be disrespected,” one commenter writes. “Waffle House needs to learn some customer service,” says another commenter. “A normal restaurant would not call the cops on customers over $1.50. A good manager would acknowledge the mistake in prices and be done with it! There is no explanation or excuse for calling police in this situation!”

In April, customer Chikesia Clemons was tackled and arrested at a Waffle House in Alabama after refusing to pay an extra 50 cents for utensils. The following month, 22-year-old Anthony Wall was choked and slammed to the ground by a police officer at a Waffle House in North Carolina after sitting at a table that waitstaff hadn’t yet cleaned.

“With respect to the Saraland, Alabama, and Warsaw, North Carolina, incidents, we concluded that our employees acted appropriately by calling the police in light of safety concerns for our customers and themselves,” the chain said in a statement. “In the Fort Walton Beach, Florida, incident, our review of the matter is continuing.” Waffle House says it has tried to contact the female customer in the latest video “several times” as part of its investigation process, but has not gotten a response.

Waffle House employees are trained to call the police “anytime there is concern about their personal safety or that of their customers,” a company spokesperson told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution following the incident in Alabama.

Waffle House’s handling of such matters stands in stark contrast to Starbucks: Following an April incident in a Philadelphia store in which two black men were arrested while waiting for a friend to arrive, the coffee giant swiftly apologized and later shut down its U.S. stores for an afternoon of racial bias training to prevent similar incidents going forward. Starbucks has since given its employees new guidance on when it’s appropriate to call 911 on customers; such instances include customers being “unreasonably noisy, viewing inappropriate media, verbally abusing people, making unwanted sexual advances and indecent exposure.”

Waffle House Under Fire After Latest Viral Arrest Footage [Business Insider]
Bernice King Urges Waffle House Boycott Following Violent Incidents [E]
Violent Arrest of Black Woman at Waffle House Sparks Protests [E]

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