Civil rights leaders organized a press conference and town hall in Mobile, Alabama, Tuesday to rally support for Chikesia Clemons, an unarmed black woman who was arrested and disrobed by white police officers at a Waffle House last week.
A cell phone video depicting the arrest was widely shared after the incident, and shows Clemons' breasts being exposed as her strapless top comes off during the struggle with officers. On the video, a cop can be heard threatening to break her arm and an officer is also seen putting his hand on her throat.
Clemons' attorney, Benjamin Crump — a well-known civil rights lawyer known for his work representing Michael Brown and the family of Trayvon Martin — demanded that police drop charges against Clemons, and apologize for their previous statements about her arrest.
At Tuesday's press conference, Sharpton condemned Saraland police for calling Clemons' arrest "appropriate" despite video showing her breasts becoming exposed during the encounter, and demanded that the officers involved be disciplined.
Both Sharpton and Crump said that the unnecessary exposure of Clemons' breasts was especially alarming given the mounting awareness of sexual assault and misconduct amid the #MeToo movement.
Sharpton also demanded more transparency from the Saraland Police Department. He questioned whether the cops had been wearing body cameras and demanded that any police video footage be released.
The veteran civil rights leader also said he would be raising funds for Clemons, who is a mother, declaring that she should not have to worry about making money while she prepares to go to court next month.