Chipotle NYPD Incident: Restaurant Denies Refusing Service, Says A Single Employee Carried Out Actions [UPDATE]

Has a Chipotle NYPD incident been exaggerated? A Chipotle Mexican Grill representative says so. The restaurant is at the center of controversy this weekend, as a story spreads across the internet. According to the rumor, when NYPD officers entered the establishment, Chipotle employees refused to serve them, and made the “hands up, don’t shoot” gesture so well-known in recent months toward the officers. Chipotle is responding to requests for information by assuring that the incident has been overblown, and has been handled.

The Chipotle incident is actually said to have occurred nearly two weeks ago, but the story is just starting to go viral today. It seems to have begun on a Thank You NYPD Facebook page. The initial story is simple: Several NYPD officers entered a Chipotle location, and a number of Chipotle employees raised their hands in the familiar gesture. The officers left immediately.

The story has since been reworded to specify that there were eight officers, and to suggest that Chipotle employees also refused to serve them. The image below has been shared numerous times, and is causing a lot of backlash for Chipotle.

On the company’s Facebook page, a Chipotle representative is denying that the event occurred as described. The representative, identified only as “Joe,” says a single Chipotle employee made the gesture, that the NYPD officers were not denied service (Joe doesn’t address whether they left as stated, without being fed, or were served), and that the incident has been handled.

“[W]e work hard to be sure that all of our customers feel welcome in our restaurants and apologize if the actions of any of our employees suggested otherwise. When this happened roughly two weeks ago, we investigated and have taken appropriate measures to be sure this doesn’t happen again.

We do want you to know, however, that we did not refuse service to anyone, nor did our staff conspire to make a gesture. It appears that any activity that took place was undertaken by a single employee, spontaneously. I hope that helps.”

Chipotle customers aren’t satisfied. They are demanding to know whether the employee was fired, and calling for a public apology to the NYPD from the restaurant. Chipotle is responding to those demands, saying they will consider the requests, and in the meantime, “we’re doing our best to apologize to the folks who have concerns about this in an immediate way.”

While Chipotle has discussed the NYPD incident on their Facebook page, an official emailed request from Inquisitr has as yet received no reply. An update will be issued if an official statement is forthcoming.

In short, it appears the Chipotle NYPD incident has been exaggerated, though the chain isn’t saying exactly what actions have been taken to prevent recurrence.

UPDATE: Chipotle CEOs have issued a statement, including both an apology for the incident, and a clearer description of the event as seen on security camera footage. That can be found here.