Two black women were racially profiled at Applebees, and their footage of the incident has gone viral.
Alexis Brison and her friend visited an Applebee’s in Independence, Missouri, outside of Kansas City. During their meal, a police officer approached them and said the restaurant was accusing them of dining & dashing the day before. This confused the two women since they had never been to that restaurant before!
An Applebee’s employee said she was “almost positive” Brison and her friend were the same women from the day before. As a police officer continued to speak to them, Brison became audibly upset. They were ultimately asked to pay their bill, leave and not come back. As they left, Brison told the officer that she believed they had been racially profiled.
The video is particularly upsetting because the officer doesn’t seem to understand why the women are so emotional, he and frequently belittles them for becoming agitated. But, of course, they're emotional! They’re being accused of doing something just because they have the same skin color as someone else. How would you feel?
After leaving, the women called Applebee’s and asked why they were accused of dining and dashing on a previous occasion. The manager said, “our accuser remembered that there was a SKINNY girl and a girl who wore MAKEUP.” Brison wrote on Facebook: “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.”
Since being posted on February 10, the video has been viewed over 2 million times and has over 50,000 shares.
Applebee’s has not responded to the story on social media, though they have been responding to people complaining about things like a long wait to be seated. But, in a statement to the Kansas City Star, the CEO of Applebee’s local franchisee said —
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 do not tolerate racism or bigotry of any nature. 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.
What do you guys think? How should Applebee’s handle this incident? Should they issue Ms. Brison a public apology? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @WhatsTrending.