Law-enforcement officers were not welcome at an Alabama Taco Bell last weekend.
On Saturday night, a cashier at a Taco Bell in Phenix City turned away two sheriff’s deputies because of their status as law-enforcement officers, reports the Ledger-Enquirer.
“They thought the cashier was kidding,” Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones told theLedger-Enquirer.“When they realized she wasn’t, they left. It is very disappointing that officers would be treated in such a negative fashion because we try to treat everyone with respect.”
Tammy Bush Mayo, who is married to a Lee County deputy sheriff, spoke out against the incident on Facebook in a post that has been shared more than 1,000 times since Saturday night.
The post reads:
“This really disturbs me that people have started treating law enforcement professionals in this manner when these same law enforcement professionals put their lives on the line every day to protect all people, including this woman with a very bad attitude at Taco Bell.”
As news spread, people took to social media to complain about the incident and threatened to boycott Taco Bell if action was not taken:
— GretchenInOK (@GretchenInOK) July 18, 2016
I will never eat at Taco Bell again! Last night 2 Deputy Sheriff officers not given service in Phenix City Alabama. Just told to leave!
— Rock BAMA TB (@TommyBrowning2) July 17, 2016
— Dustin Chandler (@ADustinChandler) July 17, 2016
According to Taco Bell, the action is not a restaurant policy – nationally or locally – but instead the act of a single employee.
“Taco Bell and Tacala, the franchise owner of the Phenix City Taco Bell, in no way endorse this sentiment,” Taco Bell said in a statement to Business Insider. “We are deeply appreciative of the men and women who have taken the oath to serve and protect our communities.”
The cashier responsible was fired on Sunday.
The incident inPhenix City is the latest in a number of situations in which restaurant employees have refused to serve customers. In June, a Cook Out employee was fired forbeing unwilling to serve Donald Trump supporters,and last week, a Chinese-food restaurantbriefly bannedlaw-enforcement officers from the premises.