A woman working as a cook at a Noodles & Company in Alexandria told her co-worker “I’m not serving that” when she saw a uniformed police officer queuing at the counter. Now, both employees have lost their jobs after refusing to serve the Northern Virginia police officer.
As reported by WTTG-TV, in the latest episode of anti-cop animosity occurring at restaurants across the U.S., a cook told the cashier in the restaurant on Monday night, “You better pull me off the line, because I’m not serving that.”
Officials with the Alexandria Police Department said initially the cashier looked confused, but when the cook motioned towards the officer, both she and the cashier began to laugh. The female officer, in uniform and standing in line behind a family, simply stated, “I guess you don’t want my money,” and left the restaurant.
— Inc. (@Inc) July 28, 2016
However, the officer wasn’t letting the incident go and reported the encounter to her supervisor. APD Chief Earl Cook then paid a visit to the Duke St. Noodles & Company restaurant.
Speaking of the recent animosity towards police officers, Cook told WTTG-TV, “These are very difficult times right now in our relations with everyone.”
“And to have one of my officers treated in that manner unnecessarily, your first response is anger.”
It was announced Wednesday by executives of the Noodles & Company fast-food chain that the two workers had been fired over the incident.
Restaurant executives apologized “for the inexcusable actions of these individuals” towards the APD officer who had tried to eat at the restaurant Monday night. Representatives of the company also said in a statement that they “concluded the two team members in question acted inappropriately and we immediately terminated their employment.”
The statement by Noodles & Company executives continued, “Further, we want to extend our apologies to the entire Alexandria Police Department for the comments made by our team member.”
“We have the utmost respect for law enforcement officials and value the relationship we have built with the local Alexandria Police Department over the years.”
As reported by the Alexandria Times, officials from the APD have said they do not wish to see any acts of revenge against the Noodles & Company, including stealing food or boycotting the restaurant altogether, as suggested by some on Twitter.
Reportedly, the department took to Twitter on Wednesday, lightheartedly referring to the incident as “Noodlegate,” but also spoke more seriously of taking the high road in the matter.
Please, APD does not support any crime related to this unfortunate incident, or even a boycott. Take the high road! https://t.co/r9GXx4mhD2
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) July 27, 2016
Speaking for the town, Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg said in a statement, “There should never be any discrimination in America.”
“It is outrageous and will not be tolerated in Alexandria. This was blatant discrimination, and it was against one of our finest. We cherish our Alexandria Police Department and all those who serve in law enforcement. We thank them for their service and courage.”
The incident at Noodles & Company is only one in a series of incidents that have occurred since the recent Dallas police ambush involving officers who felt restaurant staff and customers had treated them less than respectfully.
Last week, a Colombus, Ohio, officer required hospitalization after biting into a sandwich laced with glass at a café, although in that case, investigators do not believe the glass was purposely placed there.
Also a week ago, the Inquisitr reported that an Alabama Taco Bell employee had lost their job for refusing to serve two uniformed sheriff’s deputies.
As reported by the New York Daily News, earlier this month, staff at a North Carolina Zaxby’s fried chicken outlet heckled two Cleveland County sheriff’s deputies. While they did not refuse to serve the officers, they did cover their food with extra spicy hot sauce.
In another incident, a man at a diner outside Pittsburgh refused to sit next to a group of four police officers who were eating there at the time. Trying to make amends, one of the officers later paid for the man’s dinner, saying he wanted to show the man that “we’re not here to hurt you.”