Martin Luther King Jr.'s daughter Bernice King, CEO of The King Center, reacted to a News & Observer report of a black man choked and slammed by a North Carolina police officer at a Waffle House by calling for people to avoid the restaurant chain until it commits to employee training and other changes.
In a tweet on Thursday, King wrote: "Family, let's stay out of Waffle House 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."
In the same tweet, King shared the News & Observer story about Anthony Wall, 22, who was at Waffle House after taking his 16-year-old sister to prom in Warsaw, North Carolina on May 5.
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Wall and his sister argued with Waffle House staff, he said.
The argument began when a Waffle House employee cursed at people in his group after they sat at a table that had not been cleaned yet, he said. Then, Wall said, a waitress called the police.
In a second tweet, King referred to a separate incident at an Alabama Waffle House, where an employee called the police on Chikesia Clemons after she asked for the phone number for the chain's corporate office.
"Ms. Clemons was violated by police," King wrote. "Her breasts were exposed. It barely garnered national attention. Do #BlackLivesMatter? Do #BlackWomenMatter?"
Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. also shared the N&O story. On Facebook, Jackson wrote "Not again. #StopTheViolence #SaveTheChildren."
A video Wall posted to Facebook shows Wall in his tuxedo being choked by a police officer, then slammed to the ground.
It was unclear why Wall was choked or slammed by the officer. The video — which features strong language — does not show anything before the physical altercation. Wall had his arms raised above his head before the officer began to choke him.
Wall told The News & Observer in an interview on May 9 that his head and back were injured in the altercation and he had a cut on his arm. The video shows him struggling on the ground while the officer tries to put him in handcuffs.
In the video, Wall can be heard demanding the officer's supervisor.
Warsaw Police Chief Eric Southerland said the officer belonged to his department and the incident was being investigated by police and District Attorney Ernie Lee. Lee said he has asked the the State Bureau of Investigation to assist.
When asked if the officer's behavior in the video reflects what Warsaw officers are trained to do in such situations, Southerland said "no."
"It's not what you're trained to do in incidents like this but when you're dealing with someone fighting and resisting against an officer, you try to use proper tactics and go for one move, but that might not work because that person is moving or the officer is moving," Southerland said. "In real versus training situations, moves don't always work out like you want them to."