Five Louisville, Kentucky police officers were refused service at an area Taco Bell, and employees were overheard threatening to “mess with them” before the officers left the restaurant, WDRB (Louisville) is reporting. It is the latest in a series of incidents in which a business has made headlines for refusing to serve police officers.
Speaking on behalf of the five police officers, Fraternal Order of Police president Dave Mutchler said that the cops, who had been working the nearby Kentucky State Fair, stopped by the Taco Bell on August 18.
Kentucky State Fair (with a Southwest 737 in the background!) pic.twitter.com/NUtFPa07Md
— Ken Hoke (@AeroSavvy) August 20, 2016
One of the employees working behind the counter allegedly said “I’m not serving them,” and walked away. Another employee offered to take the cops’ order, but they overheard a conversation in the background that made them question whether or not they should eat there, according to Mutchler.
“In the meantime, the officers heard a conversation between two other employees that were food preparers. One of them told the other one, ‘I want to mess with them. I want to mess with them.’ He followed that up by saying, ‘I’m gonna mess with them. I’m gonna mess with them.'”
The cops decided at that point that they should eat somewhere else. As the officers were unable to find a manager and register their complaint, they left.
Neither the five Louisville cops involved in the story, nor their union boss, Dave Mutchler, went to the media with their story, and it would have never made the news had it not been for a man named Andy Hall. As of this writing, it’s not clear if Andy Hall is in some way connected to any of the Louisville police refused service at Taco Bell that day, but nevertheless, he posted on Facebook about the incident, and the post quickly went viral, getting the attention of the Louisville media.
“I’ve just learned that the Taco Bell at Preston and Phillips Lane refused to serve 2 LMPD officers today. I am both saddened and sickened to hear this and can promise that I will never visit a Taco Bell again even after they apologize and provide a corporate press release to control the damage. This news has been substantiated! Feel free to share this post.”
In a statement, Taco Bell apologized for the incident and promised to “re-train” the staff at the Louisville location.
“Taco Bell and [the franchise owner of this Louisville Taco Bell] do not tolerate discrimination in any way. [The francise owner] deeply regrets these officers felt unwelcome in the restaurant, and has apologized directly to the officers and the Louisville Metro Police Department, who made it clear they did not want anyone to lose their job over this incident. We appreciate their ongoing support, and the franchisee is working to re-train its staff at this location.”
This is not the first time cops have been refused service at a Taco Bell location. Just last month, according to this report by the Inquisitr, a Lee County, Alabama sheriff’s deputy went to a Taco Bell in Phenix City and, instead of delicious tacos, got the cold shoulder.
— The Auburn Plainsman (@TheAUPlainsman) July 18, 2016
Oddly enough, in the Alabama case the worker was joined in his “protest” by another customer, who had indicated that she didn’t want to eat with cops and would have refused to serve them if she were an employee, too. The Alabama employee was fired.
Do you think the Louisville Taco Bell employees who refused to serve cops deserve to be fired?
[Image via Shutterstock/ Ken Wolter]