The Pembroke Pines Police Department (PPPD) in Florida expressed outrage when a local Arby’s employee refused to serve one of their officers because he was a cop. The incident occurred at local Arby’s drive-through around 7 p.m. Tuesday evening when the officer pulled up for service.
The Pembroke Pines Major and Public Information Officer Carlos Bermudez told The Daily Caller News Foundation (TheDCNF):
“I don’t have the exact quote, but something was said to the effect of ‘We don’t want to serve you because you’re a police officer”.
That is when a different employee took over and gave the officer the food but not before the officer decided to complain to the manager. The manager gave the officer a refund but the police department decided to contact the corporate office to complain.
“Their CEO and senior VP of operations contacted our chief and apologized for the incident and said they would address the matter,” Bermudez told TheDCNF.
Bermudez wouldn’t say if he thought the refusal of service was part of a larger anger towards the police after several highly publicized incidents of questionable police conduct, such as the social unrest in Ferguson, Missouri or Baltimore, Maryland.
In a prepared statement, PPPD Chief Dan Giustino said:
“I am offended and appalled that an individual within our community would treat a police officer in such a manner. It is unacceptable, and I will be contacting the Arby’s CEO to demand an apology.”
The incident stood in sharp contrast to the outpouring of support the PPPD receives from the residents of Pembroke Pines. In an unrelated event the same day, a local mother and her daughter visited police headquarters and dropped off cookies and a ‘Thank You’ card to show their appreciation for our agency and its officers.
“We are very proud of the partnerships we have built within our city, and for an incident like this to have happened is very disappointing for everyone,” said Chief Giustino.
In an updated statement issued by PPPD, Chief Dan Giustino said that following his contact with Arby’s corporation management via telephone:
“Arby’s Chief Executive Officer, Paul Brown, and Senior Vice President of Operations, Scott Boatwright, contacted Chief Giustino to convey their sincere apologizes on behalf of their organization.”
“Both gentlemen assured Chief Giustino that the employee’s behavior was unacceptable and not representative of the company’s values. Chief Giustino was appreciative and accepted their apology and now considers this matter closed.”
Since the call, the owner of the Arby’s Restaurant involved in the incident fired the shift manager on duty at the time and suspended the employee who sparked the incident.