A civil rights attorney’s effort to draw awareness to the treatment of women of color by law enforcement was stopped in its tracks by a gag order.
Ben Crump arranged the press conference less than five days before Chikesia Clemons’ criminal trial. Crump, civil rights attorney and personal injury attorney, is representing Clemons on civil matters. Her latest criminal trial comes over a year after a viral video showed her being manhandled by three Saraland police officers on the floor of a Waffle House.
She was arrested for allegedly threatening Waffle House employees after being charged for plastic cutlery. Over 50,000 signatures were collected in favor of dropping the charges — resisting arrest and disorderly conduct — against Clemons after the video made its rounds. Prominent civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton and others came to Alabama to protest.
Initially, the names of the officers were not released because Saraland Police officials told AL.com it was too dangerous to release them. Eight months later, Saraland police officers Christopher Ramey, Bryson McDaniel and Sam Ellison were identified as those seen in the video.
Clemons was initially found guilty of the charges from the Waffle House arrest in late July of 2018, but was granted a retrial. Judge Mark Erwin, who presided over the case, said the decision had nothing to do with the high level of emotion around the case, according to previous reporting by AL.com.