ATLANTA - Rapper T.I. has publicly called out an Atlanta restaurant on social media after a video surfaced which appears to show an off-duty Atlanta police officer working security trying to handcuff women who wanted to use the bathroom at Houston’s in Buckhead.
According to the restaurant, the manager asked the officer to escort the women out because the restaurant was closed and the women refused to leave. The incident was caught on cellphone video by one of the three women involved in the incident.
Atlanta Police arrested Asiah Epperson, Brittany Lucio, and Erica Walker on charges of criminal trespass at the Houston’s on Peachtree Road this past Mother’s Day.
Ms. Epperson, who recorded the video, can be heard screaming at the officer. The women alleged the officer roughed them up.
According to the police report obtained by FOX 5 News, the women came into the restaurant after it closed and asked to use the ladies room. The report states a shift manager had allegedly asked the ladies to leave the bathroom twice but they did not want to come out.
The officer claimed in the report he asked them repeatedly to leave, but they ignored him and even laughed at him. That’s when the officer stated, according to the report, one of the restaurant managers opened the back door and he grabbed one of the women’s wrists.
Rapper T.I. took to Instagram to voice his anger at what happened at Houston’s restaurant.
"You don’t put your hands on no woman. You’re not the police. You're a coward," T.I. said in a video posted to Instagram.
During the struggle, the officer claimed, according to the report, that one of the women punched him in the face. But attorney Gerald Griggs, who represents two of the women, said that is not the case. Griggs said the women had only been in the bathroom 7 to 10 minutes and when asked to leave, they told the manager they needed a few more minutes but that’s when the officer showed up.
Mr. Griggs said at the end of the day, the video speaks for itself. In fact, he said, so do the pictures of the injuries his clients suffered that night. He wants the charges against his clients dropped.
They want also Atlanta Police to hold an internal investigation into this officer’s actions and Houston’s restaurant employees to be held liable for their actions.
Houston's released a statement in part reading: “the women came in to use the bathroom 30 minutes after they closed, and after 10 minutes or so refused to leave despite repeated requests.”
In a statement, the Atlanta Police Department said they were aware of the women's accusations of excessive force and have opened an investigation into the incident through the Office of Professional Standards.
"The Atlanta Police Department takes accusations of excessive force very seriously and will be reviewing all aspects," an APD spokesman said.
You can read the entire statement below:
The Atlanta Police Department is gathering evidence related to the arrests that occurred at the Houston’s Restaurant at 2166 Peachtree Road on May 13th, 2018. Our understanding, based on the preliminary investigation, is that a restaurant manager approached an off-duty officer, working at the location, and asked him to remove three females from the restroom after they had refused management’s requests to leave. The officer asked the females to leave but they did not comply and ignored his requests giving the officer no other option but to take them into custody for trespassing. Our preliminary investigation has also indicated that several of the females resisted the officer’s efforts to make an arrest and there was a physical altercation between them and the officer.
The Atlanta Police Department is aware of the excessive force accusations made by the arrestees and the Office of Professional Standards has opened an investigation into entire incident for appropriate action and whether proper procedures were followed. The Atlanta Police Department takes accusations of excessive force very seriously and will be reviewing all aspects