An Applebee's restaurant in Independence, Missouri has been temporarily shut down and three of its employees terminated after two Black customers were accused of theft.
Alexis Brison and Asia Hardy stopped at Applebee's inside the Independence Mall after a day of shopping, ABC News reports. While in the middle of their meal, a police officer, mall security guard, and the restaurant’s manager approached their table saying they fit the description of two customers who had run out before paying the bill the night before. The two women assured the officer that they had never been to the restaurant and encouraged management to check the surveillance cameras for verification.
The two customers captured the incident and posted it to Facebook. "After leaving, calls were made to the restaurant and the manager stated that our accuser remembered that there was a SKINNY girl and a girl who wore MAKEUP," Brison wrote under the video's caption. "In 2018 is this really what we’re debased to? Our weight and whether or not we wore makeup. She could not recognize any facial features or any defining characteristics . This is a clear example of RACIAL PROFILING that should not be stood for. Just because we are black does not mean we are all criminals and I will not be treated as such."
The video went on to rack up over 2.6 million views, prompting Applebee's to take action.
“After an internal investigation and in-line with our values, the franchise terminated the manager, server and another employee involved in the incident,” the food chain announced in a statement. “We do not tolerate racism, bigotry or harassment of any nature and we have taken additional steps to close the restaurant at this time in order for the team there to regroup, reflect, learn and grow from this.”