Bernice King, 55, on Thursday called for a boycott of the Waffle House chain
The youngest daughter of Martin Luther King Jr has called for a boycott of Waffle House following two controversial arrests of black patrons.
Bernice King, 55, issued the call for a boycott Thursday on Twitter, referring to the recent arrests of Anthony Wall in North Carolina and Chikesia Clemons in Alabama, both at Waffle Houses.
'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,' King wrote, along with a link to a report on Wall's arrest.
On May 5, staff at a Warsaw, North Carolina Waffle House called police after Wall began arguing with servers, and a video shows the responding officer choking and bodyslamming the 22-year-old to the ground.
King referenced the May 5 arrest of Anthony Wall, 22, outside a Warsaw, North Carolina Waffle House (left and right). Staff called 911 after Wall began arguing with servers
Wall, who was dining out after escorting his 16-year-old sister to her prom, admitted in interviews to arguing with servers, but it is not clear from the video what preceded the physical confrontation with the police officer. Wall was charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
In a second tweet, King referred to the April 22 arrest of Clemons, who allegedly made gun threats after she was asked to leave the restaurant for bringing alcohol inside at 2.45am.
Saraland, Alabama Police Detective Brian Mims said that officers were told that Clemons had shouted: 'Why is you in my business,' 'I may have a gun, I may have anything,' and 'I can come back here and shoot this place up if I need to.' The incident occurred just an hour before four were killed in an unrelated Waffle House shooting near Nashville, Tennessee.
Clemons' dress was pulled out of place while several officers wrestled her to the ground as she struggled against them. She was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
King, in her call for a boycott, wrote about the incident: 'Ms. Clemons was violated by police. Her breasts were exposed. It barely garnered national attention,' adding 'Do #BlackLivesMatter?'
Both controversial incidents took place late at night at the 24-hour chain, and Waffle House has said race was not a factor in them.
Chikesia Clemons, 25, was arrested in an Alabama Waffle House after allegedly trying to sneak alcohol into the restaurant at 2.45am and telling staff she had a gun
'Our review of these incidents do not indicate race was an issue in the decision to call the police in either case,' Waffle House said in a statement.
'Both incidents escalated quickly, and our employees called the police because of safety concerns for their customers and themselves. We train our employees to call the police whenever they feel in danger, or if they feel their customers are in danger.'
Waffle House said it was reaching out to King and was open to discussing her concerns.
In another recent incident, black patron Jacinda Mitchell grew irate when she found the doors of a Waffle House in Pinson, Alabama locked at 3am on April 22 - just minutes before the unrelated Nashville shooting.
Mitchell shot video as she rattled the doors and announced that the people being served in the dining room were white, until a patron on the inside walked up and seemed to say 'I'll shoot you'.
In another recent incident, black patron Jacinda Mitchell (left) grew irate when she found the doors of a Waffle House (right) in Pinson, Alabama locked at 3am on April 22
Pat Warner, a spokesman for the chain, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that in that case an employee 'panicked' because only two people were working, and a large group had just left.
'She got behind, panicked and locked the door. That should not have happened. She should not have locked the door,' Warner said.
'As anybody knows who has eaten with us, we are proud of our diverse workforce and customers. We pride ourselves on that,' said Warner, the director of public relations and external affairs for Waffle House.
'We know folks are upset, but our stance is we would be proud to talk to you about it. These incidents are high profile, but we encourage everybody to get all the facts.'
Waffle House has more than 2,100 locations in 25 states, most of them in the Southern US.
May 5, 2018 - Warsaw, North Carolina
Staff called police after Anthony Wall, 22, got in a verbal dispute with a server late at night.
Video shows the responding officer choke Wall and bodyslam him to the curb.
It wasn't immediately clear what led to the confrontation in the video.
Wall was dressed in a tuxedo after escorting his 16-year-old sister to her high school prom.
He was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
April 22, 2018 - Saraland, Alabama
Employees called 911 around 2.45am, reporting trouble with a woman who appeared drunk and refused to leave after bringing what appeared to be alcohol in the restaurant.
Witnesses told responding cops that the woman said she had a gun and had made threats.
Chikesia Clemons, 25, was arrested and her breasts were exposed as police wrestled her to the ground
She was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
April 22, 2018 - Pinson, Alabama
Jacinda Mitchell found the doors locked at 3am but several patrons eating inside.
She stood outside recording video as she rattled the doors and declared that the patrons inside were all white, until one of the patrons came up to the glass and appeared to threaten to 'shoot' her. The restaurant chain said the location was understaffed and workers had locked the doors to prevent servers from being overwhelmed.
Mitchell declined to accept a $15 gift card that the chain offered in apology.