A former cop held a protest this weekend in front of the Rhode Island Dunkin' Donuts where an employee wrote "#blacklivesmatter" on an officer's coffee cup. According to ABC 6, Tony Lepore set up the small protest in Providence because he "wants to see the employee... fired." Earlier this month, a local police officer purchased a coffee from the Dunkin' Donuts on a Friday night and his coworker claimed in a Facebook post that the employee behind the counter was "immediately rude, and didn't appear to want to serve him." Upon leaving, the cop noticed that his coffee had "#blacklivesmatter" scrawled across it in marker.
The Associated Press notes that the slogan arose last year "during protest nationwide over police violence against civilians." The police union was quite upset over the incident and released a statement "condemning the employee and the Black Lives Matter Movement." Lieutenant Roger Aspinall, a spokesperson for the police union, tells the AP that the slogan is "anti-police." The Dunkin' Donuts franchisee quickly apologized to the police after the incident and noted that the employee was "counseled" about her behavior.
However, that is not enough for Lepore who believes the employee should lose her job: "I just want people out there to support their police department. I was a policeman for seventeen years and I know how tough this job is. I think this group targeted coffee shops because they know that police are out there eight hours and that they love coffee."
Dunkin' Donuts is aware of the protest. The spokesperson added that the chain — which apologized to the officer, the Chief of Police, and others in the law enforcement community — "deeply regret[s] the incident" and that it is "committed to showing" its appreciation for all officers and guests. Eater has reached out to the Providence Dunkin' Donuts for comment.