INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (WSVN) — Applebee’s has temporarily closed one of their Missouri locations and fired three employees who falsely accused two black women of “dining and dashing.”
The closure and firing comes after Alexis Brison posted a video to Facebook after she and her friend were approached by an Independence police officer, mall cop, and the restaurant manager while they were enjoying their meal.
The server claimed Brison and her friend had dined at the restaurant the night before and left without paying.
“We were told that we were accused of eating and not paying for CHICKEN the day before (dining and dashing),” Brison wrote on the social media site. “Mind you that we have proof that can show our whereabouts and it’s not even in our character to steal.”
Brison and her friend could be heard arguing their innocence before Brison could be heard bursting into tears. The pair also said they felt they were being accused because they were black.
“This is what black people have to deal with,” one of the women could be heard saying in the video.
Restaurant staff and the police officer asked the women to pay their bill and leave, telling them not to come back. The women complied, but Brison posted video of the encounter to Facebook soon afterward.
“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.”
Applebee’s says they have since fired the manager, server and another employee who were involved in the incident.
The restaurant chain later released a statement which reads in part, “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. 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.”
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