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Friday, September 7, 2018

Why Did Police Arrest This NYC Black Restaurant Owner For Trying to Help an Unconscious White Woman?

Clyde Pemberton, owner of MIST Harlem Restaurant

Clyde Pemberton, owner of MIST Harlem Restaurant

New York, NY — Dr. Clyde Pemberton, owner of the famous MIST Harlem Restaurant, was arrested after two white women and police officers took offense when he tried to help a white woman who was unconscious. Pemberton, who is also a physician, has since filed a lawsuit against the New York Police Department for violating his civil rights and false arrest.

The NYPD reportedly arrested Pemberton and two other employees whose efforts to help an unconscious white woman was returned with racial slurs and hostility from her two friends.

On June 1, 2017, Pemberton was holding a business meeting in his restaurant when he saw two white women coming from the restroom dragging their unconscious companion. But when he approached them to offer help, one woman punched him in the chest and even called him a “n—–.”

Pemberton, who is 68 years old, ignored the racial slur and asked employees to call 911 for an emergency help. Two employees, Christian Baptiste, 42 years old, and Thomas Debnam, 32 years old, came to help Pemberton but Baptiste only received a strike in the head from one of the women.

As the two women continued to yell and kick employees, police officers, who were all white, arrived. A police supervisor talked to one of the women and then ordered for Pemberton, Baptiste, and Debnam to be arrested for charges of unlawful imprisonment. The officers claim the three men were blocking the exit and were trying to prevent the women from leaving.

The three men had to spend six hours in custody before they were released. Five months after, the charges were dropped. However, the humiliation and disappointment from the incident still remain.

In the lawsuit filed in the Manhattan Federal Court, Pemberton claims they “did nothing wrong, and no reasonable police officer would have believed they did anything wrong.” The lawsuit also states, “The NYPD arrested Dr. Pemberton, Mr. Baptiste, and Mr. Debnam not because of their conduct, but because they were there and they are black. Neither their side of the story nor their freedom mattered to the police.”

The city’s Law Department will “review the case and respond accordingly,” according to the agency’s spokesman Nicholas Paolucci.

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