An Atlanta restaurant is at the center of protests for the second time after a video of three Black women getting arrested for using the bathroom went viral.
The women, all of whom are actresses, said they went into a Houston’s restaurant on Mother’s Day to use the bathroom. Erica Walker (above right), Brittany Marie Lucio (above middle) and Asia’h Sharrell Epperson (above left), an actress on Greenleaf, reportedly went into the establishment to meet friends who were finishing up their meal.
Although the kitchen was closed, the dining room was still open. The women then went to use the bathroom while they waited for their friends; however, they were interrupted when a shift manager called a security guard to remove the women, reported 11Alive.
This story differs from the police report, which states an Atlanta police officer was working an extra job as security for Houston's when he was asked to escort the women out for using the facilities after the business had closed.
The police report states the women had been asked to leave twice, although they said they had permission to use the bathroom upon arrival.
According to the officer, the women were in the bathroom and on their phones when he asked them to leave. The officer claimed the women ignored three requests to leave.
The officer said he tried to get Lucio out of the restaurant, but she threw a punch at his mouth, forcing him to restrain her and call for backup.
Lucio, Walker and Epperson were all charged with criminal trespass. Lucio was additionally charged with felony obstruction.
They were booked into the Fulton County Jail.
Attorney Gerald Griggs, who represents Lucio and Walker, said there are "factual inaccuracies in the officer's reporting."
"I'm concerned about that, considering there are numerous witnesses that will state they (the women) were an invitee onto the location," Griggs told 11Alive.
Griggs and his clients want a full investigation from the Atlanta Police Department and the D.A.
"We are seriously concerned about the level of force that was used," Griggs told 11Alive in regard to the women being pushed in the bushes. "We believe they were profiled and subject to police brutality."
Atlanta Police told 11Alive "after claims of excessive force were brought to our attention, the chief directed the Office of Professional Standards to review the officer’s actions."
In a statement to 11Alive, Houston's said they are aware of the complaint and are in the processes of investigating.
"The evidence we have seen thus far shows that three women arrived approximately 30 minutes after closing time, they went into the restroom as a group after being told that the restaurant was closed. The three stayed in the restroom for more than 10 minutes, and refused to leave despite repeated requests from several managers to do so. Eventually, an off-duty Atlanta Police Officer was summoned with whom one or more of the women got into an altercation that led to arrests. Based on our current understanding, we believe our managers responded appropriately to this unfortunate situation."
(Photo: Fulton County Jail)
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