Applebee's is having a hard go of it recently, with over a hundred stores closing last year and Millennials gleefully killing casual dining and all.
It's unknown whether or not the location in this story was already slated for the chopping block. But boy howdy, if there was ever a reason to close your doors, getting put on blast for profiling paying customers might top the list.
Alexis Brison and Asia Hardy went to the Applebee's in Independence, Missouri, and were having a fine time for about an hour until a server reported them to the police, insisting the two had dined and dashed the day before.
When the police arrived, the server scuttled away, and this nine-minute discussion took place:
Despite being able to prove they were not, in fact, at that Applebee's the night before — or even anywhere near the mall — the women were subjected to two white police officers behaving like condescending twits in what was obvious racial profiling. The episode ended with Hardy in tears, the officer mocking her for being upset, and the two of them being asked to pay and leave and never return.
In Brison's Facebook post of the video, she wrote:
Hey facebook friends and family I need your help reposting this. Especially in black history month black people cannot continue to be treated this way. My friend and I were shopping at the independence center in independence, Missouri(Near Kansas City), when we were done we decided to get a bite to eat at Applebee’s. About an hour into [our] dinner we were approached by a Independence police officer, a mall cop, and the restaurant manager. We were told that we were accused of eating and not paying for CHICKEN the day before (dining and dashing). Mind you that we have proof that can show our whereabouts and it’s not even in our character to steal. After being mocked, humiliated, and embarrassed we were asked to pay for our food, leave, and not come back. 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. 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. #repost Applebee’s Grill & Bar
Four million views and 85,000 shares later, Applebee's corporate went into reactive mode and fired the three employees responsible for the incident while attempting to reach Brison and Hardy directly. Maybe firing the three employees wasn't enough, because the whole store got shuttered overnight with no warning.
Teryn Johnson, who said she has worked at Applebee’s for 30 years, told KHSB-TV:
I was told to come into work Thursday morning in uniform. I got there at 9:30 a.m. and noticed the big trucks were out there removing the sign. I knew that was a sign.
A spokesman for the chain told a local Fox affiliate that there was no specific reason for the location's closing (though the mall has been sold in a foreclosure) and that the other perfectly innocent employees have been offered jobs at nearby' locations. Regardless, it may have been difficult to stay in business with the location's public shaming.
People weren't sad to hear of the restaurant's closing, and voiced their support of Brison and Hardy:
At least the employees responsible for that profiling with offer of proof were fired. Those cops were maggots! First thing they should have done was to verify the accusations with video evidence. They're too stupid, lazy, & condescending for that.— THEJNSREPORT (@THEJNSREPORT) February 13, 2018
We need to make sure these young ladies are vindicated & an example is set. If they get away with this once they'll try it again. The lady in the clip is Alexis Brison & this is the @Applebees in Missouri(Near Kansas City). This happened yesterday 2/10/2018. Stop it b4 it starts— SheTweetsTruth (@MsKTweetsTruth) February 11, 2018
It is real disgusting how the officer is literally mocking the lady for having a reaction to being falsely and racially accused of theft.— Sigure Rangiku (@SigureRangiku) February 13, 2018
They need to sue applebee's and the officer.
Some people called for an Applebee's boycott, which shouldn't be much of a sacrifice:
Hey, here's a radical idea:
Here's what I don't get: if you're sure that these women were the thieves, you provide proof and they get arrested.— Scott Weinberg (@scottEweinberg) February 12, 2018
If you're unsure, then the cops shouldn't even approach them.
H/T: The Root