An Alabama Taco Bell employee has been fired for refusing to serve two uniformed sheriff’s deputies, WSCS (Charleston) is reporting.
Tammy Bush Mayo is the wife of a Lee County Sheriff’s deputy, whose name has not been released. She took to Facebook to complain about the way her husband was treated at the Taco Bell in Phenix City, Alabama. Mayo’s post is time-stamped 10:38 P.M. (Central time) on Saturday, and the alleged incident occurred about an hour earlier.
“My husband is a Deputy Sheriff in Lee County, Alabama and tonight a Deputy on his shift went into Taco Bell in Phenix City, AL and was told that they don’t serve cops. A lady waiting for her food spoke up to say that she was about to ask for a refund because she didn’t want to eat somewhere with a cop.”
Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones says he was able to confirm the incident by speaking to other officers in the department. According to Lee’s report, two deputies went to the Taco Bell at about 9:40 P.M. and were told by a cashier behind the counter that they wouldn’t be serving cops, and they had to leave. Lee, incredulous, asked the cashier if she was kidding. She was not.
“No, I’m not serving you.”
Another customer who was in the restaurant that night took the cashier’s side, telling her that she (the customer) was glad the cashier refused to serve them, and she wouldn’t have eaten there if the cops had been served.
— KFOR (@kfor) July 18, 2016
Outraged, Lee released a statement to the local media decrying the Taco Bell employee’s actions.
“I’m very disappointed that simply because they were uniformed law enforcement officers that our deputies were treated in such negative fashion. We pride ourselves in giving people basic respect and only ask the same in return.”
After contacting management of both the local Taco Bell franchise and the company’s corporate headquarters, Lee learned that the employee was fired for her actions.
“In the course of the investigation at the Taco Bell in Phenix City, the franchise owner of that location has terminated the employee who refused service to two Lee County Deputies on July 16th. [The franchise owner] has contacted the Lee County Sheriff’s Department to apologize directly to the two Deputies and assure them of their ongoing support of law enforcement.”
Relations between the police and the general public have been tense in recent weeks following the high-profile killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Both men died at the hands of police under questionable justification. And in some cases, that tension has played out in places where cops and civilians eat together.
In Homestead, Pennsylvania, according to this Inquisitr report, two customers at a Pennsylvania restaurant refused to be seated next to a table full of cops. On seeing their fellow diners’ discomfort, the cops pooled their money and paid the bill for the couple.
Video: Homestead officers pay bill of couple who refused to sit next to them at restaurant https://t.co/GyaK7nz2fC pic.twitter.com/4d5kPBDO2g
— WTAE-TV Pittsburgh (@WTAE) July 12, 2016
And in Washington (state), according to this Inquisitr report, the owners of Lucky Teriyaki restaurant found themselves facing threats of boycotts after cops were asked not to eat there. The owner later apologized, saying the whole kerfuffle was a misunderstanding brought about by a language barrier. He invited local police officers to eat there for free the following Monday.
Do you think the Alabama Taco Bell employee deserved to be fired for refusing to serve cops?
[Image via Shutterstock/Ken Wolter]