A fast food employee in Alabama was fired after refusing to serve police officers over the weekend. According to WTVM, the alleged incident occurred Saturday night at a Taco Bell in Phenix City.
The wife of one of the officers in question took to Facebook on Saturday to give details on the incident. She claims not only were the sheriff's deputies told that the restaurant didn't serve law enforcement, but that another customer apparently claimed "she was about to ask for a refund because she didn't want to eat somewhere with a cop."
According to Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones, the officers asked the female employee if she was joking and were told, "No, I'm not serving you."
Statements on the incident from Sheriff Jones read in part, "We won't base our opinion of Taco Bell on one employee's negative action any more than the general public should base their opinion of law enforcement on the negative action of one officer ... I would like to include that even though the incident last night is disturbing, it is insignificant in light of the attack on law enforcement in Baton Rouge. Our thoughts are with the families of the law officers who lost their lives in the service of their community, their fellow law enforcement brothers and sisters, the city of Baton Rouge and the state of Louisiana."
A Taco Bell spokesperson issued two statements to WTVM; the first stated that "Taco Bell and Tacala, the franchise owner of the Phenix City Taco Bell, in no way endorse this sentiment" and stated the franchisee was investigating the matter. A followup statement relayed the news that the offending employee had been terminated, and further stated that the franchise owner contacted the police department "to apologize directly to the two deputies and assure them of their ongoing support of law enforcement."
Tensions have mounted in the wake of nationwide protests against police use of excessive force following the recent deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, and subsequent police shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Last week in Washington State, a restaurant was overwhelmed by negative publicity after allegedly telling police officers not to dine there anymore; the restaurant's owners soon apologized and chalked the incident up to miscommunication caused by a language barrier.