A Pembroke Pines, Florida, Arby’s found itself on the forefront of trouble after an employee and his manager tried to deny service to Police Sergeant Jennifer Martin. The two employees of the restaurant have found themselves right in the middle of the controversy.
The manager allegedly told Sergeant Martin, who went through the drive thru on Tuesday evening:
“He doesn’t want to serve you because you are a police officer.”
Pembroke Pines Police Department Chief Dan Giustino commented on the matter:
“I am offended and appalled that an individual within our community would treat a police officer in such a manner. It is unacceptable.”
The manager and employee of the Arby’s are now claiming that the incident was actually a joke gone wrong. Sergeant Martin still received her food without any more issues. Nineteen-year-old Kenny Davenport claims that he was really busy and had asked his manager for help. That’s when the manager made the off-color joke to Sergeant Martin.
Davenport, who allegedly told his manager he did not want to serve Martin, told CBS Miami:
“We don’t hate cops. We don’t hate anybody. We’re just trying to get people out of the drive thru.”
“There’s no point in talking. I’m 19. She’s an officer and I’m colored.”
Davenport’s grandfather thinks the whole thing is being blown out of proportion:
“Officers lives matter,” he said. “Everybody’s life matters. Somebody made a joke and she just didn’t take it the right way. She didn’t think they were joking. She thought it was a serious matter. Now their job as an officer is very serious and I appreciate all that they do.”
Arby’s released a statement on the matter:
“We take this isolated matter very seriously as we respect and support police officers in our local communities. As soon as the issue was brought to our attention, our CEO spoke with the Police Chief who expressed his gratitude for our quick action and indicated the case is closed. We will be following up with our team members to be sure that our policy of inclusion is understood and adhered to. Further, we will be following through with disciplinary action up to and including termination of the employees involved, as appropriate.”
There is no word yet on how the employees will be disciplined.