Three black actresses from Atlanta, Georgia, claim they've been wrongfully arrested for using a bathroom at Houston's restaurant for 'too long'.
Brittany Lucio, Asia'h Sharrell Epperson and Erica Walker have now launched an appeal against their arrest, and have called on the district attorney to investigate the incident, according to The New York Post.
Footage of the alleged altercation has gone viral on social media, with the hashtag #BoycottHoustons gaining traction on Twitter, and video has also been posted on Instagram by Lucio, which has been viewed more than 56,000 times.
According to the three women, they arrived at the restaurant around 10pm on 13 May and asked to use the restroom while their friends finished up their meal. Despite the fact the kitchen had closed, they say they were granted permission.
Ten minutes later, however, they claim that they were forcibly removed by an off-duty officer and security guard who asked them to leave the premises three times.
When they ignored him, it is alleged the cop grabbed Lucio's wrist. She reportedly resisted and said: "Get your hands off me!"
He is said to have grabbed her wrist again, and she told him: "Get your f–king hands off me. You ain’t about to touch me."
According to the security guard, Lucio then punched him in the mouth. Soon after, the police arrived, and arrested all three women for illegal trespassing.
Writing on Instagram, Lucio commented:
I am completely disheartened and shocked about what happened at Houston's because of the unprovoked and unjust actions of the police officer. I was bruised and battered, but I am not broken.
The altercation has also sparked the hashtag on Twitter called #PeeingWhileBlack, where people are sharing their amazement at the arrest:
The altercation comes after a string of recent incidents in America where black people have been arrested or questioned by the police for doing day-to-day things.
Two black men were arrested in a Starbucks for sitting in the cafe without buying anything; a white woman called the police because some black people were having a BBQ; and a white woman called the police when a black property developer was inspecting one of his own houses.