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This time, fast food workers really were mean to cops, maybe

A Five Guys pre-pandemic
A Five Guys pre-pandemic
Photo: PAUL J. RICHARDS (Getty Images)

Remember the tampon in the Starbucks cup? Remember the poisoned milkshakes at Shake Shack? Both these incidents from last month were held up as examples of the rising hostility of Americans toward police officers... until they were proven false. Last week, a group of cops in Daphne, Alabama, claimed that workers at a Five Guys turned their backs and refused to serve them. That allegation at least seems to be true. And the employees have been fired.

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The incident was confirmed by “a credible source,” reports WKRG-TV in Mobile. “News 5 was told the officers went to Five Guys to eat after court. A group of employees turned their backs on the officers. One of the employees could be overheard saying ‘I’m not serving them.’ The source said the officers walked out and went to another restaurant.”

Since Daphne is a small town—approximately 26,000 people—the mayor quickly got involved and put the police department in touch with the owners of the restaurant. He also announced that he planned to buy the cops their next meal and invited the general public to follow suit. (It wasn’t reported if anyone did.)

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It was later reported on social media that the Five Guys employees had declined to serve the cops because they weren’t wearing masks. The police department claimed this was not true, or at least that once the cops became aware that they needed masks, they went back to their car to get them before trying to place their orders.

A flurry of statements followed from both the police department and Five Guys, though not from the employees themselves. Said Five Guys: “We apologize to those officers and also want to make it clear that Five Guys and its franchisees are committed to fair, respectful, and equal treatment for all customers.” The restaurant announced the firing of the employees via Facebook and added that it would be closed down temporarily “for further education and customer service training with a representative from the Daphne Police Department.” Anybody want to guess how that went?

Aimee Levitt is associate editor of The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

Cops come into the restaurant where I work all the time without masks on. In a county where masks are required in public.

Fuck the police.