By: Cara McClellan
Source: The Huffington Post
“I’ll break your arm, that’s what I’m about to do,” said an Alabama police officer as he wrestled 25-year-old Chikesia Clemons to the ground, pulling her shirt in a way that revealed her breasts and then leaving her chest bare as she was handcuffed.
In a now-viral video, officers can be seen threatening the young black woman inside a Waffle House in Saraland, Alabama. Her mere questioning of why the restaurant was charging her for plastic utensils quickly escalated into a violent police encounter.
Just one week prior, two black men were unnecessarily arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks. Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson had been waiting inside the coffee shop for a friend when the store manager felt they’d taken too long to order and called the police, who arrested them.
Despite the similarities between the two incidents, the Starbucks arrest received far more media attention than the encounter at Waffle House, resulting in a quick corporate response and a plan of action. Waffle House and the Saraland police maintain they followed protocol.
This disparity is part of a larger, startling pattern of violence against black women being overlooked when it comes to police brutality targeting black people. We must remember that the racial biases in policing that lead to black men being victims of violence also apply to black women, even though their stories are less visible. Black women bear a double burden ― carrying the weight of a weaponized skin color and the invisibility of a silenced gender.
Read the full piece here.