Independence, MO – Three Applebee’s employees have been fired, and the store location has been temporarily closed, after two black women were accused of leaving the restaurant without paying for their food and the police were called (video below.)
In a Facebook post, Applebee’s patron Alexis Brison said that she and a friend, later identified as Asia Hardy, were out shopping on Saturday, when they decided to stop at the restaurant for a bite to eat.
Brison explained that approximately one hour into their meal, they were approached by an Independence Police Department (IPD) officer, a mall security officer, and the restaurant manager.
Much of the conversation that ensued was recorded by one of the women, using a cell phone.
“We were told that we were accused of eating and not paying for CHICKEN the day before (dining and dashing),” Brison wrote.
“We have not been here!” Hardy was repeatedly heard saying throughout the video.
“This is what black people have to deal with, if you want to know,” one of the women said.
“After being mocked, humiliated, and embarrassed we were asked to pay for our food, leave, and not come back,” Brison wrote in her post.
The women said that any allegations that they had skipped out on a bill the day prior were false, and said they believed the true reason they were accused of stealing was because they are black.
“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,” Brison wrote. “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,” Brison concluded.
Applebee’s issued a statement to The Kansas City Star on Monday.
“Our team has been working throughout the weekend and will continue to work to determine what happened and what appropriate measures will be taken,” Bill Georgas, CEO of Apple Central, LLC., Applebee’s local franchisee wrote.
Georgas said that the internal investigation had not indicated that the incident was racially motivated.
“We do not tolerate racism or bigotry of any nature,” he said. “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.”
Applebee’s said they were attempting to contact Brison and Hardy to apologize, according to WDAF.
The restaurant also said that a manager, server, and another employee were fired in relation to the incident, and that the business was temporarily closed “in order for the team there to regroup, reflect, learn, and grow from this,” WDAF reported.
The cellphone video of the incident had been viewed nearly 3 million times as of Tuesday morning.
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Watch the video of the incident below: