Law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line to protect the public continue to face insults and mistreatment from those they are protecting.
Two uniformed sheriff’s deputies from the Assumption Parish Sheriff’s Office say they were denied service at a Burger King restaurant in St. Francisville, Louisiana, last month.
When confronted about it, the Burger King owner demanded an apology — not from the employees who were responsible, but from the sheriff’s office.
The story comes from Holly Matkin at Blue Lives Matter, who said she spoke with Lonny Cavalier, public information director for the sheriff’s office.
According to Cavalier, the incident happened May 17 when the deputies stopped to get dinner after a long day of SWAT training in Zachary, Louisiana.
The deputies pulled into the Burger King’s drive-thu lane in their marked patrol vehicle and “sat there for an extended period of time before someone finally let them order,” Cavalier said.
One deputy tried to order a chicken sandwich at the menu speaker but was cut off by a woman inside the restaurant, who said sarcastically, “We’re out of chicken,” according to the report.
The deputy attempted to order a Whopper instead, but was interrupted again, this time by a male employee, who said, “We’re out of burgers, too.”
The deputies then reportedly asked the employees if the items were really out of stock or if they just didn’t serve police officers.
“The only response was laughter,” Cavalier said.
When the employees continued to ignore the deputies, they pulled ahead to the payment window, according to the report. One of the deputies got out of the car and stuck his head in the window to try to speak to an employee.
“He could hear them inside laughing, but no one would come to the window,” Cavalier told Matkin.
The deputies eventually left the Burger King “embarrassed and humiliated,” according to Cavalier. He said they later reported the incident to their supervisors.
Cavalier told Matkin he contacted the fast food chain’s corporate office several times but “nothing ever came of it.”
He decided to write a letter to the editor of The Bayou Pioneer newspaper detailing what the deputies said happened at the Burger King.
“What is troubling,” Cavalier wrote, “is that these same Burger King employees, in the event a robbery was occurring at the time, would have expected these two deputies to take a bullet for them, and those deputies would have.”
The Pioneer printed his letter, and he told Matkin he received a phone call from the Burger King owner about a week later.
“He was very angry. Very upset,” Cavalier said — but not at his employees. He was angry at Cavalier, whose story he called an “outright lie.”
The restaurant owner reportedly said his employees had only refused to serve “people who just happened to be police.”
“So, I asked him if they refused to serve those specific officers, and he admitted that they did,” Cavalier told Matkin, calling the distinction “virtually laughable.”
According to Cavalier, the Burger King owner demanded that the sheriff’s office issue a press release to retract the allegations and apologize.
Needless to say, Cavalier declined.
Despite his denials of their wrongdoing, the restaurant owner told Cavalier the employees had been fired because he had other problems with them.
Matkin wrote that Burger King’s corporate office has yet to comment on the St. Francisville incident.
As disturbing as it is to hear of police being refused service, it’s just as galling that a prominent restaurant chain would deem such a story unworthy of a response.
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