GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - A group of civil rights organizations and activists gathered outside Waffle House's corporate headquarters in Norcross Friday morning to deliver a petition for police charges to be dropped in the recent incidents at the restaurant chain.
This most recent protest comes after a black woman at a restaurant in Saraland, Alabama was arrest and another arrest involving a black man at one of the restaurants' North Carolina locations.
Following video of a teenager in his prom attire being choked by a police officer outside a Waffle House in North Carolina, Dr. Bernice King weighed in on the issue. She took to Twitter to encourage her followers to boycott Waffle House until the chain commits to a discussion on racism and employee training.
“Family, let’s stay out of @WaffleHouse until the corporate office legitimately and seriously commits to 1) discussion on racism, 2) employee training, and 3) other plans to change; and until they start to implement changes.”
Family, let’s stay out of @WaffleHouse until the corporate office legitimately and seriously commits to 1) discussion on racism, 2) employee training, and 3) other plans to change; and until they start to implement changes. https://t.co/NJWFOBKN7i— Be A King (@BerniceKing) May 10, 2018
Both Clemons and Wall face criminal charges. "The charges are unreal to me," Anthony Wall said outside the Waffle House headquarters today. "I've never been in trouble like this. I'm a hardworking person." Anthony Wall did admit he got into a heated argument with employees before police were called.
The petition brought to Waffle House asks for police to drop all charges and offer a public apology.
"Give us a public apology because we were humiliated all over the world," Chikesia Clemons, the woman arrested at the Saraland, Alabama restaurant, said.
Protest organizers said the petition already has over 2,000 signatures.
In response to Friday's demonstrations Waffle House released the following statement, saying in part:
"As anyone who has dined with us knows, we have a very diverse customer base and workforce. We have had a culture of inclusion since we opened our doors in 1955, and are very proud of the fact that our restaurants have been open to all. We understand the concern over these incidents, and welcome continued communication with the community, its leaders and the customers involved.While we regret that the incidents happened at all, after reviewing all the available information, including witness statements and our own in-store videos, we believe that in the Saraland, Ala., and Warsaw, N.C., incidents our employees made the right decision to contact the police in light of safety concerns for the customers and themselves."
Waffle House did say it would conduct additional training with its employees to better equip them to handle similar situations in the future.