The Chain Gang

Arby’s Is in Big Trouble for Refusing to Serve a Police Officer

Drama. Photo: Mike Motzart/flickr

Police in Florida are furious after they say one of their own was denied service at an Arby’s for no other reason than being a police officer. Sergeant Jennifer Martin’s alleged mistreatment at the local Arby’s so outraged the Pembroke PD yesterday morning that the department typed up an official “incident summary” and tweeted it out to followers:

Part of the incident report is Pembroke PD police chief saying, “It is unacceptable, and I will be contacting the Arby’s CEO to demand an apology.” In all likelihood, this was an isolated incident, but the condemnation of Arby’s has been swift and severe. A group has already started protests, and the Dade County Police Benevolent Association wants the worker involved fired, calling for a national boycott until Arby’s complies.

The version of the story that employees tell, which of course is different, is that the worker got slammed, so he asked his manager to take Martin’s order. Which the manager did, but in the process jokingly suggested her co-worker wasn’t serving Martin because Martin was police. Nobody on the police side believes this remark was intended as a joke, though. Martin apparently asked for a refund because she felt “uncertain” about the food.

To shut this thing down, Arby’s CEO Paul Brown himself called Pembroke’s police chief to say the behavior was “unacceptable” and “not representative of the company’s values.” The company also promises, “We will be following up with our team members to be sure that our policy of inclusion is understood and adhered to.” But the drama could escalate more because angry protesters have started tweeting #BlueLivesMatter, and the worker, a kid named Kenny Davenport who’s young and black, says now, “There’s no point in talking. I’m 19. She’s an officer and I’m colored.”

[USAT, CBS Miami]

Arby’s Is in Big Trouble for Refusing to Serve a Police Officer