An Arby’s employee in Florida who allegedly refused to serve a Pembroke Pines police officer service for being a cop says it was all just a joke and not a refusal of service.
CBS Miami reports that Kenny Davenport, 19, said he was working at Arby’s when Pembroke Pines Police Sergeant Jennifer Martin pulled up to the drive thru window.
Davenport contends that their interaction at the Arby’s drive thru was a joke that was taken the wrong way.
According to a police report on the incident, Martin was told by a manager at the restaurant that an employee, now identified as Kenny Davenport, did not want to serve her. The manager allegedly said, “He doesn’t want to serve you because you are a police officer.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 2, 2015
After the incident, Martin reportedly told the manager that she was uncertain whether she wanted to eat at the restaurant because her food might be tainted. The manager tried to assure her everything was fine, and handed over her food.
According to the report, the manager allegedly laughed and said the clerk was allowed to refuse service to the officer.
Davenport gave his take on the incident.
“We don’t hate cops. We don’t hate anybody. We’re just trying to get people out of the drive thru.”
Davenport said it was so busy that he had to ask his manager for help, but he didn’t refuse Martin service. He went on to say that was when his manager came to lend a hand that the manager made the unfortunate joke.
— Esquire Magazine (@esquire) September 2, 2015
After the incident, Pembroke Pines Police Chief Dan Giustino issued a statement denouncing the “refusal” of service.
“I am offended and appalled that an individual within our community would treat a police officer in such a manner. It is unacceptable.”
Arby’s quickly issued an apology in regards to the incident.
“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.”
Davenport’s grandfather said he believes the whole incident is being blown out of proportion.
“Officers lives matter. 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.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 4, 2015
As for Kenny Davenport, he told CBS Miami he sees little point in explaining himself.
“There’s no point in talking,” he said. “I’m 19. She’s an officer and I’m colored.”
According to NBC News, the Dade County Police Benevolent Association called for the Arby’s employees involved to be fired. On Friday, the manager was fired and Davenport was suspended, according to Fox News.
[Image via Twitter/IBTimes]