Three employees at an Applebee’s restaurant in Independence, Mo., have been fired after a viral video posted to Facebook showed them profiling two black women and calling the police on them, accusing them of having done a “dine and dash” in their restaurant the night before.
Alexis Brison posted a video to her Facebook page that showed the encounter involving herself, her friend Asia Hardy, the Applebee’s employees and local police, which occurred Saturday evening.
In the post, Brison wrote:
Hey facebook friends and family I need your help reposting this. Especially in black history month black people cannot continue to be treated this way. My friend and I were shopping at the independence center in independence, Missouri(Near Kansas City), when we were done we decided to get a bite to eat at Applebee’s. About an hour into [our] dinner we were approached by a Independence police officer, a mall cop, and the restaurant manager. We were told that we were accused of eating and not paying for CHICKEN the day before (dining and dashing). Mind you that we have proof that can show our whereabouts and it’s not even in our character to steal. After being mocked, humiliated, and embarrassed we were asked to pay for our food, leave, and not come back. After leaving, calls were made to the restaurant and the manager stated that our accuser remembered that there was a SKINNY girl and a girl who wore MAKEUP. In 2018 is this really what we’re debased to? Our weight and whether or not we wore makeup. She could not recognize any facial features or any defining characteristics . This is a clear example of RACIAL PROFILING that should not be stood for. Just because we are black does not mean we are all criminals and I will not be treated as such. #repost Applebee’s Grill & Bar
In the video, it is easy to see that both women are shocked, embarrassed and upset at the accusation. As they continue to explain that they were not there the day before and that they would never steal, the police officer can be seen mocking their distress and at times laughing at them.
“We have not been here,” Hardy says as the video begins. “This is not funny.”
The officer, realizing he is being filmed, says, “You should get my good side,” then smiles and waves at the camera.
“Let’s do a little role reversal here,” the officer says. “Put yourself in my shoes. What would you do?”
When the server tells the police officer that she is almost positive that it was Brison and Hardy who did the dine and dash, Hardy becomes very upset and starts crying.
That same server, by the way, then tries to hide so that her face cannot be seen on camera.
The officer—mocking Hardy—first accuses her of getting worked up over nothing, then says, “Does she normally act like this? We’re just trying to talk.”
Who wouldn’t get upset over being accused of being a thief and being confronted by the police, especially if they are innocent?
“This is definitely what black people have to deal with,” Brison says as Hardy grows increasingly upset and the officer continues laughing at her.
According to Fox 4, the restaurant manager, a server and another employee involved in the incident have all been fired following an internal investigation by Applebee’s.
Applebee’s released a statement Monday evening stating that the restaurant, which is located in the Independence Center, had also been temporarily shut down “in order for the team to regroup, reflect, learn and grow from this.”
Applebee’s said it is attempting to reach Brison and Hardy in order to apologize to them.
Bill Georgas, Applebee’s CEO, and Apple Central LLC, Applebee’s local franchise, also released a statement:
At Applebee’s, we do not tolerate racism or bigotry of any nature. We regret any incident like this, because we want every guest experience to be positive. Our team has been working throughout the weekend and will continue to work to determine what happened and what appropriate measures will be taken. We currently have no indications this was race related. We have a diverse workforce that is reflective of the community we serve. All are welcome at our restaurant, and will continue to be welcome.
Independence police told Fox 4 that they have not received a police report on either the alleged dine and dash or the incident from Saturday evening.
Because of course.