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Arrest of black woman at Waffle House sparks complaint

SARALAND, Ala. >> Georgia-based Waffle House Inc. today defended police intervention at an Alabama restaurant where a black woman’s arrest, captured on video, raised questions about mistreatment.

In a statement released by company spokesman Greg Rollings, Waffle House said it had information that “differs significantly” from claims by the woman, who is shown being knocked down by police and arrested inside a restaurant near Mobile in Saraland on Sunday.

“After reviewing our security video of the incident and eye witness accounts, police intervention was appropriate,” the statement said. The company didn’t provide any details about what occurred.

The NAACP has called the arrest troubling, and pickets stood outside the restaurant with signs Sunday.

A statement issued by the Saraland Police Department said the city’s public safety director and mayor were aware of the arrest and video, which gained traction on social media following a confrontation inside a Waffle House restaurant on Sunday. An investigation was under way.

Video posted online shows officers arguing with a woman and then wrestling her to the floor as diners look on. Three officers are visible in the video.

It was unclear from the video what caused the dispute, but Mobile-area media quote witnesses as saying the woman objected to being charged for plastic eating utensils.

The incident happened the day as a quadruple homicide at another Waffle House in Nashville, Tennessee. The suspect in that case was arrested today after a massive manhunt.

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