Houston’s restaurant in Atlanta is the object of rap mogul T.I.’s rage — once again — after three Black actresses were arrested for allegedly trespassing late Tuesday. One of them is a personal friend of the rapper.
The women, Brittany Marie Lucio, Asia’h Sharrell Epperson of “American Idol” and “Greenleaf” fame, respectively, and Erica Walker ,reportedly entered the restaurant after closing time and asked management if they could use the restroom. Despite being denied permission to use the facilities, according to “Fox 5 Atlanta,” the women went to the restroom anyhow — and then reportedly refused to leave immediately after several commands to do so.
Atlanta Police Officer Jay Guzman, who was working there in full police uniform, issued the command for the three women to leave the restroom.
The television station reports that when the women failed to comply with the officer’s orders in a timely manner, he called for backup. Guzman then entered the restroom and reportedly dragged the loudest of the three women out of the restroom.
The women claimed Guzman dragged the one woman through the restaurant and then threw them all into the bushes outside the restaurant.
Lucio posted images on her social media account of cuts and bruises she claims were caused by Guzman during the dragging and arrest.
After being released from police custody, Lucio immediately called T.I., aka Clifford J. Harris Jr., 37, and the rapper subsequently posted a pair of fiery videos on Instagram, daring Guzman to try to drag him through the restaurant like he did the one woman. He also said it’s time to stop behaving like Martin Luther King and respond more like Malcolm X.
“I need you to do me, homes,” he said, challenging Guzman. “Come do me like that. Come drag me through the restaurant just like that.”
Bold rhetoric from Tip after he was also just arrested at his home less than two weeks ago. He was charged with drunken and disorderly behavior after he became irate when a security guard denied him entry into his gated community in the Atlanta suburb of Henry County, Georgia. He reportedly stormed back to the security gate once he finally was granted entry and demanded the security guard give him his name and step outside. The Grand Hustle record label owner said the security guard, who was reportedly sleep when Tip rolled up to the gate with his friends, disrespected his wife on the phone as she verified T.I.’s identity.
The “Whatever You Like” lyricist is now calling for a renewed boycott of Houston’s restaurant. He demanded his first boycott of the restaurant in 2017, accusing the restaurant chain of discriminating against Black people after the staff had a dispute with his wife, Tameka “Tiny” Harris, and rapper Waka Flocka’s mother, Debra Antney.
In the current case, the women claimed the officer unecessarily manhandled and abused the three women.
“We are seriously concerned with the level of force that was used and we want answer to why they ended up in the bushes,” attorney Gerald Griggs said in a statement.
Griggs was asked why the three women did not leave the restroom as soon as they were ordered to do so by a uniformed officer.
“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 taking care of all of your needs,” he told the television station.
Griggs said it was “unfortunate” the restaurant manager said he was satisfied with the response to the incident. He is also calling for the trespassing charges to be dropped.
“(The) response from Houston’s is very disturbing. This is a very disturbing case and we hope to be able to come to a swift resolution with the charges being dropped.”
T.I., if you recall, served two years in federal prisons on weapons and drug charges in 2009 and 2011. But his growing stature in recent years as a socially-conscious entertainment activist got him named to Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ transition team.
The rapper has promised to throw his weight around down at City Hall, according to an insider close to T.I.’s camp.
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