News & Politics

HALL OF SHAME: 5 Times Employees Refused to Serve Law Enforcement Officers

5. Taco Bell: Ala. — Two uniformed sheriff’s deputies were denied service and told to leave by an Alabama Taco Bell employee.

“They even asked her if she was kidding,” he said, according to the Opelika Auburn News. “Her response was, ‘No, I’m not. We don’t serve law enforcement, and you need to leave.’”

Taco Bell spokeswoman Laura Nedbal said that the company has terminated the employee and apologized. “Taco Bell and Tacala, the franchise owner of the Phenix City Taco Bell, in no way endorse this sentiment,” she said “We are deeply appreciative of the men and women who have taken the oath to serve and protect our communities.”

4. Sunoco Gas Station: Orlando, Fla. — A clerk at the Sunoco gas station refused to sell a police officer a drink when the clerk recognized his buddy in the back of the officer’s police car.

As the officer grabbed a cold Gatorade from the refrigerated case, the clerk told the officer, “Y’all got my boy in the back of that car outside the gas station.” He asked why his “boy” had been arrested, the report said.

The officer, who was in uniform, said he couldn’t give him further information, then walked toward the cashier’s window, where that same clerk returned to ring up customers.

The cashier’s window was closed and the officer knocked on it to get the clerk’s attention, asking to be rung up. The clerk told him no, the report said; when pressed by the officer, the clerk said: “You know why.”

The officer again asked to make a purchase and the clerk refused a second time telling him to get out of the way so he could ring up other customers. The clerk served about four customers before the officer made a final, futile attempt.

When the officer, identified as Matias Wilson, asked the clerk for his and his manager’s names, the clerk refused to give him the information. The clerk was not wearing a name tag.

When asked why he’d refused to provide the officer service, he replied: “Because I don’t have to, that’s why,” the report said.

Sunoco issued an apology to the officer and fired the employee. “The actions described by the police officer are unacceptable and are not something that Sunoco would tolerate by any station bearing the Sunoco brand,” the statement read. “We apologize to the officer involved, and to all law enforcement officers who were understandably offended by this incident.”

The unidentified clerk told WPLG-Ch.10 that “if somebody’s being disrespectful to me and then they want to come to me and want my service, I’m not going to serve them.”

Now you won’t have to, punk.

3. Krystal restaurant: Ala.  — A uniformed police officer was refused service at a Krystal restaurant when he ordered from the drive-thru in his police cruiser.

The police chief says the officer waited in at the drive-thru window for ten minutes. When no one helped him, the officer went inside to order. But the police chief says the workers who were inside walked away.

“The bottom line is, without the partnership of the community, we can’t do our job. You know they need us and we need them,” Irondale Police Chief Kevin Atkinson said.

The restaurant has apologized for the incident. “We take this allegation very seriously. Our policy is to serve all guests promptly and with a smile. In this case, we clearly did not meet the officer’s expectations and we want to correct it.”

2. Lucky Teriyaki: Wash. — The owner of Lucky Teriyaki told law enforcement officers not to patronize his restaurant and to “spread the word” to other officers.

Four deputies with the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office were finishing lunch at Lucky Teriyaki in Sedro-Woolley, about 70 miles north of Seattle, when the restaurant’s owner asked them not to eat there anymore, Sheriff Will Reichardt said in a post on the department’s Facebook page.

“I am not often speechless but today I was advised of an incident… that completely took me by surprise,” Reichardt wrote.

The two deputies paying for the group’s lunch were told that the other customers did not like having police officers at the restaurant. And it gets better:

When the department’s chief deputy spoke with the owner to confirm, he allegedly repeated the request, and “asked that we spread the word to other law enforcement that they were no longer welcome either,” Reichardt wrote.

The owner of the restaurant said the issue stemmed from a language barrier. “The owners of the restaurant told KOMO News through an interpreter that an employee misinterpreted customers upset at an unrelated issue to be uncomfortable that police were eating in the restaurant. An employee asked the deputies if they were about to leave, the restaurateurs told KOMO news.”

The police dispute there was any kind of language barrier. “No language barrier,” wrote the sheriff’s office on Facebook.

The sheriff’s office said they would still respond to the restaurant if a police presence is required. “We will be there. It is our job,” it said on Facebook.

1. Noodles & Co.: Alexandria, Va. — The cook at a Noodles & Company restaurant refused to serve a uniformed police officer when she ordered dinner.

While standing in line, a cook came out of the kitchen, approached the cashier, pointed at the officer and allegedly told the employee “You’re going to have to take me off the line, I ain’t serving that,” according to Alexandria Committee of Police Vice President Peter Feltham.

“The officer realized what was happening and rather than making an incident of it, the officer just left the business,” Feltham said.

A representative with the Alexandria Police Union and Alexandria Police Chief Earl Cook met with the restaurant management following the incident.

“These are very difficult times right now in our relations with everyone, and to have one of my officers treated in that manner unnecessarily, your first response is anger,” Cook said. “Then you calm down a bit and say let’s just find out what happened.”

The employees in question have now been fired.  Noodles & Co. released the following statement:

“Discrimination of any kind is never tolerated at Noodles & Company. After completing a thorough investigation into the allegations brought to us by a police officer who visited our Alexandria, VA location, we have concluded the two team members in question acted inappropriately and we immediately terminated their employment. The views and actions of these individuals are in no way reflective of the Company or team at our Alexandria location.

We want to thank the entire Alexandria Police Department for their assistance in this investigation. We have spoken with the officer involved and apologized for the inexcusable actions of these individuals.

Further, we want to extend our apologies to the entire Alexandria Police Department for the comments made by our team member. We have the utmost respect for law enforcement officials and value the relationship we have built with the local Alexandria Police Department over the years.”

Good riddance

Did I miss any? Share any other examples in the comments!