Social media users are calling on people to boycott the American restaurant chain Waffle House following the arrest of two black customers at one of their branches in Florida.
Two officers from the Fort Walton Beach Police Department responded to a call from a Waffle House on 2 May where a couple were complaining about a $1.50 surcharge on a glass of orange juice.
Reports state that the drink was listed on the menu as costing $1 but when their bill arrived it had been hiked up to $2.50, which they disputed.
The couple, who were identified by the police as being Donald Copeland and Ms Hart, refused to pay their bill if the price of the drink wasn’t resolved, which led to employees calling the police and threatening to press charges.
A video of the arrest has been uploaded to YouTube by the Fort Walton Beach police, which shows a police officer pointing a taser gun at Mr Copeland while demanding that they pay the bill.
After refusing to pay the charge and being forced out of the building, Copeland and Hart are both put in handcuffs and forced into the back of a police car.
The couple can be seen attempting to contact the Waffle House customer service line before the unidentified employees contacted the authorities to report their behaviour, which was described as “being irate and screaming”.
The employees later told police that the inflated price was due to an offer that would have given them the drink for $1 if they purchased another drink. The couple had also asked for a glass of water but that isn’t part of the offer.
Eventually, the couple agrees to pay the bill and are released, given their food and not charged for any offences.
You can watch the full incident below.
The video was shared by the police department on 12 June and has been watched more than 24,000 times at the time of writing.
This has led to an internet campaign to encourage a boycott of Waffle House, which includes a call from Luke Cage actor Mike Colter.
The Fort Walton Beach Police Department has issued a statement on Facebook stating that they will be investigating the actions of the officers in the video.
In addition, CBS News has obtained a statement from Waffle House and stated that the staff at the restaurant will be subject to extra training.
While our review of the Fort Walton Beach, Fla., incident is continuing, we think both sides could have handled this situation better.
On our part, our employee could have done more to de-escalate the dispute before calling the police.
We have spoken to our employees in the restaurant and will be doing additional training for the team members of this restaurant on the proper way to handle situations like this.
They also stated that the CEO of Waffle House called them to issue a formal apology and that they were given a full refund.