Arby’s will not fire their employee for allegedly refusing service to a police officer in Pembroke Pines, Florida. The incident took place earlier this week, forcing the fast-food company to apologize and take immediate action.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, 19-year-old African-American Kenneth Davenport was swamped with work and asked his manager at Arby’s for help at the drive-thru.
The manager, 22-year-old Angel Mirabal, started to attend to Police Sergeant Jennifer Martin and said, “He doesn’t want to serve you because you are a police officer.”
According to Local 10, that statement, reportedly a joke, got the manager fired and left Davenport’s job in jeopardy.
The Dade County Police Benevolent Association (PBA) called for all employees involved in the incident to be fired. Pembroke Pines Police Department Chief Dan Giustino also quickly got involved, according to 10 News, saying he was “appalled.”
“I am offended and appalled that an individual within our community would treat a police officer in such a manner. It is unacceptable.”
Despite the fierce backlash, Arby’s decided to let Davenport keep his job, although he was suspended for seven days.
The employee reportedly said he had no intention of offending anyone.
“We don’t hate cops. We don’t hate anybody. We’re just trying to get people out of the drive thru.”
According to Davenport’s grandfather, his grandson met with managers off-site on Friday, where he heard that he would keep his job. The grandfather insists his grandson’s words were completely taken out of context and the entire situation was blown out of proportion.
Arby’s corporation also got involved.
CEO Paul Brown traveled down to Florida and met with local PBA President John Rivera. Rivera reportedly said the meeting was assuring.
“He was a very pleasant man. He said he assured us that he would do everything he can to make sure that proper training is held across America in all the stores of Arby’s. (He said) that he is very pro law enforcement and he apologizes profusely.”
Likewise, Brown said that officers could receive a free combo meal in Arby’s locations in two counties in Florida.
Rivera explained that there are still a lot of hurt feelings surrounding the situation.
“There’s still hurt, so we’re going to leave it up to every individual officer to make up their own mind about whether they come and choose to enjoy the generosity that was offered by Mr. Brown.”
The free Arby’s food and apology will likely be the end of the confrontation with police, and Davenport should be back to work soon.
[Image Credit: Getty Images]