UPDATE 2/13 10:0O AM:
Three Missouri Applebee’s workers who falsely accused two Black customers of stealing have been terminated according to a press release obtained by HelloBeautiful.
“We recognize the hurt and pain caused by the recent incident at an Applebee’s restaurant in Independence, Mo. We very much regret this occurred and sincerely apologize to our guests and community,” said the statement from Alyssa Foreman, who represents Applebee’s through public relations firm Cohn & Wolfe.
“After an internal investigation and in-line with our values, the franchisee terminated the manager, server and another employee involved in the incident. We do not tolerate racism, bigotry or harassment of any nature, and we have taken additional steps to close the restaurant at this time in order for the team there to regroup, reflect, learn and grow from this. We are reaching out to the guests involved to apologize directly. We know rebuilding trust with those affected by the incident will take time, and we look forward to finding resolution in the coming days,” the statement concludes.
The incident which took place over the weekend, created a social media firestorm after one of the victims, Alexis Brinson, posted her uncomfortable encounter on Facebook. Brinson and a friend were visiting from St. Louis when they approached by staff in an Independence, Missouri, Applebee’s and accused of dining and dashing the previous night. Brinson and her friend denied the accusations and informed the staff that they had not visited the restaurant the previous night and were falsely accused.
ORIGINAL STORY: Missouri Applebee’s Accused Of Racial Profiling After Falsely Accusing Two Black Women Of Skipping Out On Bill
Two Black women are accusing an Independence, Missouri, Applebee’s of racial profiling after a video of them being asked to leave the restaurant went viral over the weekend, the Kansas City Star reports.
Facebook user Alexis Brison posted an eight minute video to her account, detailing a highly uncomfortable encounter with law enforcement who were called to escort the women out of the Independence Center Shopping Mall, where the restaurant is located.
According to Brison’s Facebook post, she and a friend were enjoying their meal at the eatery when they were approached by a city police officer, mall security and the restaurant’s manager. The three men accused the women of not paying their bill the previous night, after an employee of the restaurant called and identified them.
“We were told that we were accused of eating and not paying for CHICKEN the day before (dining and dashing).” In the video you can hear the pair’s confusion as the officer asks them questions. Brison, who hails from St. Louis, claims that she and her friend were falsely identified because they were nowhere near the restaurant on the night in question. One woman even claimed that she had never visited the restaurant before.
“Mind you that we have proof that can show our whereabouts and it’s not even in our character to steal,” she wrote. “After being mocked, humiliated, and embarrassed we were asked to pay for our food, leave, and not come back. ”
After leaving the restaurant, the women called back for clarification and found out that their accuser had a thinly veiled description of the perpetrators in question, claiming one girl was “skinny,” and one “wore makeup.”
“In 2018 is this really what we’re debased to? Our weight and whether or not we wore makeup,” Brison wrote. “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.”
Applebee’s released a statement to the Kansas City Star apologizing for the incident, but asserted that they found no racial profiling in the encounter.
“We do not tolerate racism or bigotry of any nature,” said Bill Georgas, CEO of Apple Central, LLC., Applebee’s local franchisee. “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.”
Watch the full video above for the uncomfortable confrontation.
SOURCE: Kansas City Star