Feb 12, 2018, 6:17 PM ET

3 Applebee's employees fired after African-American women claim they were profiled

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An Applebee's franchise in Independence, Missouri, has fired three employees after two African-American women alleged they were victims of racial profiling at the restaurant.

After an afternoon of shopping at Independence Center shopping mall, Alexis Brison and her friend Asia Hardy stopped at Applebee's for a bite to eat. As the pair enjoyed plates of buffalo wings and mozzarella sticks, Brison said in a Facebook post they were approached by an Independence police officer, mall security guard and Applebee's manager. Brison said on Facebook that the trio accused her and Hardy of skipping out on a bill the night before.

During the confrontation, Brison started filming, posting the video to her Facebook page, where it has been viewed over 2 million times as of Monday.

In the video, the two women deny the accusation, saying they were not at the restaurant the night before. They suggest they were racially profiled because they are African-American.

"This is what black people have to deal with," one of the women can be heard saying in the video.

The restaurant manager and police ask the women to pay their bill, leave and not come back, which they complied with, Brison wrote on Facebook.

In a statement to ABC News, an Applebee's spokesperson said, "After an internal investigation and in-line with our values, the franchise terminated the manager, server and another employee involved in the incident. 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."

On Facebook, Brison wrote, "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."

Brison said she was bothered that their accuser could not remember any defining characteristics about the women they believe skipped out on their check.

"Our accuser remembered that there was a SKINNY girl and a girl who wore MAKEUP. 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," Brison posted on Facebook.

An Applebee's spokesperson said the restaurant is reaching out to the guests involved to apologize directly. "We know rebuilding trust with those affected by the incident will take time, and we look forward to finding resolution in the coming days,” an Applebee's spokesperson said in a statement to ABC News.

Simon Property Group, Inc., which owns Independence Center shopping mall, and the Independence Police Department did not immediately respond to ABC News' requests for comment.

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  • virtualcid

    Well, the waitress sounded off way too soon w/o being sure. The manager was being on her side all the way which caused him to make a irrational decision. So everything gets labeled as racial profiling. I'd probably feel the same if it were me but I won't pull the race card out.

  • Arne Yoga

    Great, now if we can just fire a few federal employees in Washington for racial profiling, America will really be on the road to a healthy recovery.

  • Quantez Williams

    "Hey, it worked so well yesterday; let's try it again tonight!!"

  • GorillaMyDreams

    Yeah, if I skipped out on a bill at a restaurant (which I would never do) I would be sure to return to the same restaurant the next day. Right.

  • mma_ko

    What about the two that did skip out the day before? Their actions led these two innocent women to go through this and the workers to lose their jobs for the mishandling of the situation. All this could have been avoided if those two degenerates didn't commit the crime (yes, skipping out is akin to stealing and it is a crime!) in the first place. Let's not lose sight of that fact.

  • Hal Pritzker

    What goes around comes around. They were profiled because so many black punks ARE guilty of felonies, and misdemeanors. Check the local news everyday. If blacks as a whole conducted themselves like human beings, the pressure would be reduced. But in so many cases, they bring strong reactions from legal sources---and the general public---on themselves.

  • ZicoPico

    All these locales have cameras, especially by the door.... why not look at that first and if its them just have them arrested. Now of course if this trio had been white, would this have been news?

  • Charles_Heston

    So how do we know that those two really weren't the ones who skipped out on their bill the night before?

  • His servant

    In the description I read 1 skinny and one girl with make up, I did not see any reference to race. For sure based on that description the actions of the employees was totally wrong. But how does it become racial profiling, when race was not brought up in the description.

  • Dajibaski

    If I skip a bill today, I won't come back tommorrow

  • bill thomas

    who even eats at Applebee's anymore? Not me, not in many years. Crap food, crap service, and they act like you're at a high-end place and they're doing you a favor to wait on you.
    Olive Garden and Applebee's - don't waste your time or money.

  • Chris Cheney

    so i just read another article the police comment no one made a report of run and dine... at all therefore the officer in question should be getting info from maanger not some watiress who thinks she knows something she doesn't

  • babyjesus

    I received an $50 Applebees Christmas Gift card and still have not used it..Xmas of 2015 that is....

  • RufDisQ

    The video is unbearable to watch for so many reasons. The crying girl obviously - sure people can get very upset at the accusation and humiliation. The server/manager who is 'pretty sure'? The grinning cop who makes no effort to treat them with respect. Really unfortunate.

  • Chris P. Bacon

    THEY SKIPPED THEIR BILL. Why is this news? It's the customers who should be prosecuted for their crime. What a disgrace!

  • Thud2

    Looks like an uncomfortable place to eat.

  • LSUGENE

    If the restaurant has people skipping out and not paying their bill, it is up to the business to provide security so that the employees have a safe and secure environment to work. The one thing that is not mentioned here is the servers probably had to pay the tab out of their tips. These servers work extremely hard to make a living and should not have to be security, customer service, chef, and any other title that management wants to hang on them. A good sound security program can put incidents like this a thing of the past, but the company or franchisee are too stingy to make this happen.

  • stevemac213

    free wings and mozzarella sticks for life.