A viral video from Mother’s Day shows Atlanta police officers trying to handcuff three women who reportedly refused to leave a restaurant’s washroom in Atlanta. Now, more details about the incident unfolded.
On May 13, officials were called to Houston’s restaurant in Atlanta, located at 2166 Peachtree Road, after three females reportedly went inside after hours to use the restroom, but did not leave.
The police report indicated that the responding officer worked as security at the restaurant as a side job. When the officer arrived, the shift manager asked him to escort three women out of the bathroom.
They Refused to Leave
The three women were identified as Erica Walker, Brittany Marie Lucio, and Asia’h Sharrell Epperson, a former American Idol finalist and Greenleaf actress.
They were reportedly asked to leave twice since entering past 10:00 p.m., when the restaurant closed. When the officer was in the restroom, he purportedly found the women on their phones. He, too, asked them to leave twice, but claims they laughed while looking at their phones, and ignored his request. A third request, he said, also went unnoticed by the women.
Officer Grabbed Brittany Lucio’s Wrist
According to the report, the officer grabbed Lucio by the wrist and said, “Let’s go.” However, when they reached the restroom door, the officer claims that Lucio pulled away from his grip and yelled, “Get your hands off of me.”
The officer asked her to leave the restaurant again, but they didn’t. He took Lucio by her wrist again, and led her outside the restaurant. She then reportedly yelled, “Get your f*****g hands off me! You ain’t about to touch me.”
The officer claims that Lucio punched his mouth and head, causing two lacerations inside his mouth. He asked the staff to call 911 for backup.
After both Lucio and Walker were restrained, Epperson started recording the incident on her phone. The video shows the women on the ground, arguing while the officer tries to handcuff them.
#HoustonsWeSTILLHaveAProblem. Using the restroom #whileblack, Three black women attempted to use the restroom in the dining establishment and the police were called on them. Why were the women manhandled and arrested? Even after the recent events at #Starbucks, #Wafflehouse, and #Houstons, the Resturant chain responded the wrong way. #BoycottHoustons #blacklivesmatter #blackwomen I stand with @britt_lucio.
One of women says that she will “call the real police.”
When additional officers arrived, the three women were detained. Lucio, Epperson, and Walker were all charged with criminal trespassing. Lucio was also charged with felony obstruction. All three were booked into Fulton County Jail on May 14.
Comments from Their Attorney
Attorney Gerald Griggs, who represents Lucio and Walker, said that there are “factual inaccuracies in the officer’s reporting.” He added, “I’m concerned about that, considering there are numerous witnesses that will state [the women] were an invitee onto the location.”
Griggs also mentioned that, although the restaurant’s kitchen was closed, Houston’s was open. The women went inside to meet their friends, who were diners at the restaurant. They wanted to use the restroom, and were told that it was okay.
Griggs and his clients want the Atlanta Police Department, and the D.A. to look into the matter, so that the charges against them can be dropped.
The attorney commented on the amount of force used by the officer. He believes that the women were mishandled and profiled. When asked why they didn’t just leave the restroom when they were asked to, Griggs replied, “You can’t just leave the restroom after you just finish using it. You have to wash your hands. Have to make sure that you have [taken] care of all of your needs.”
In a statement, Atlanta police revealed that their chief asked the Office of Professional Standards to review the officer’s actions.
Brittany Lucio Expressed Her Disappointment
Griggs explained that, after the incident, Brittany Marie Lucio was removed from the movie she was filming. She took to Instagram to express her frustration.
Many who heard about the incident are showing their support for the three women on social media.