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Woman accuses Independence Applebee's of racial profiling in viral Facebook post

Woman accuses Independence Applebee’s of racial profiling in viral Facebook post

INDEPENDENCE, MO (KCTV) –

A St. Louis woman claims she was racially profiled at an Independence Applebee’s after she says the restaurant staff accused her and a friend of leaving without paying their bill during a previous visit.

Alexis Brison posted a video of the incident to her Facebook account at 2:23 p.m. Saturday.

In the post, Brison says she and a friend were shopping at the Independence Center shopping mall when they stopped for a meal at Applebee’s.

About an hour into their meal, members of the restaurant‘s staff accused the women of leaving without paying their bill the night before, the woman said. Both women denied the allegations and claimed that they were being accused because of their skin color.

“Especially in black history month black people cannot continue to be treated this way,” Brison said in her post. “After being mocked, humiliated, and embarrassed we were asked to pay for our food, leave, and not come back.”

As of Monday, the video has been viewed 1.9 million times and shared 45,000 times.

Brison says she and her friend were approached by an Independence police officer, a mall security officer and the restaurant manager. She says the officials accused her and her friend of eating and not paying for food their day before.

In the video, the two women are seen strongly denying the accusation. In the post, Brison also says she can show proof of their whereabouts from the night before.

In a written statement to KCTV5 News, Applebee’s says that it regrets what happened and that it has no indication that the incident was race related. Here is the full statement:

“At Applebee’s, we do not tolerate racism or bigotry of any nature. We regret any incident like this, because we want every guest experience to be positive. Our team has been working throughout the weekend and will continue to work to determine what happened and what appropriate measures will be taken. We currently have no indications this was race related. We have a diverse workforce that is reflective of the community we serve. All are welcome at our restaurant, and will continue to be welcome.”

Applebee’s staff and the police officer asked the women to pay their bill, leave and not return. Both women paid for their food and left the restaurant.

After leaving the restaurant, Brison says calls were made to the restaurant and the manager and said that the person accusing them had described them as “a skinny girl and one who wore makeup,” but could not recognize any of their facial features or defining characteristics.

“This is a clear example of racial profiling that should not be stood for,” Brison wrote. “Just because we are black does not mean we are all criminals and I will not be treated as such.” 

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