Even public bathroom usage is not safe for a Black person. Two African-American actresses and their friend were arrested at Houston’s restaurant in Atlanta on Mother’s Day while using the restroom.
Houston’s is a repeat offender as rapper T.I. had previously called out the establishment for a prior racist incident involving Love and Hip Hop stars Debra Antney and Momma Dee in March. The rapper, who was recently arrested outside of a gated community on May 16, had boycotted Houston’s last October before offering to help them with diversity training. Now, calls for another boycott have been rising after this latest incident involving “Greenleaf” actress Asia’h Sharrell Epperson.
Epperson, joined by actresses Brittany Marie Lucio and Erica Walker, said they were brutalized and racially profiled when they were asked to leave Houston’s bathroom by a police officer working as a security guard at the restaurant, Atlanta’s 11 Alive reported. The officer asked the women to exit three times, a police report said. But a major line was crossed when the officer grabbed Lucio by the wrist, and she told him to get off of her.
Lucio’s wrist was grabbed again by the officer who had forcefully gotten her outside Houston’s. A physical struggle continues between the actress and the cop, including punches before the officer restrained the women on the ground. Epperson then started videotaping the incident as the officer called for backup.
The incident ended with all three women in handcuffs. They were charged with criminal trespassing, and Lucio was additionally charged with felony obstruction. All three women were booked into Fulton County Jail.
The women had met friends at the restaurant and were told it was okay to use the bathroom, attorney Gerald Griggs, who is representing Lucio and Walker, said to 11 Alive. They were extremely upset over the officer’s “level of force” and want the Atlanta Police Department and city’s district attorney to do a full investigation and drop the charges against them. They also want diversity training at Houston’s, and a demonstration was being planned.
The city’s police department was reviewing the matter and Houston’s responded to the incident in a statement.