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Black Couple Handcuffed Over Waffle House Bill Dispute

They said they were overcharged by $1.50
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2018 2:07 AM CDT

(Newser) – Waffle House says its CEO has apologized to a woman who was handcuffed along with her boyfriend over a dispute over a $1.50 charge at one of its restaurants. Activist Shaun King says the black couple were handcuffed after they "refused to pay for a $1.50 overcharge on an orange juice that was listed as $1 on the menu," Eater reports. Body-cam footage released by police in Fort Walton, Fla., shows the couple explaining that the restaurant charged them $2.50 for the orange juice. Officers, without talking to employees, told them they could be arrested for theft. "We haven't been served at all. We haven't been served so how is it theft? We asked her to explain the bill to us; she gave us no food or nothing and called you guys," the woman says.

King says Waffle House employees called police after the man asked to talk to management, Fox reports. In the video, the couple—who had not received their food and insisted they were going to pay—are handcuffed after arguing with officers. They were eventually released without being arrested after saying they would pay their bill and not return to the outlet. Police say they believe proper protocol was followed, though Waffle House says it feels "both sides could have handled this situation better." The company says employees at the restaurant will receive additional training—and the couple were given a full refund the next day. Vox reports that the incident has added to calls to boycott the chain for being too quick to call the police on black customers. (The NAACP called an April arrest "troubling.")

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