Denison chief says restaurant refused to serve officers - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Denison chief says restaurant refused to serve officers

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A Whataburger employee refused to serve two Denison police officers. (Terry Ross / CC BY-SA 2.0 / KTEN) A Whataburger employee refused to serve two Denison police officers. (Terry Ross / CC BY-SA 2.0 / KTEN)

DENISON, Texas -- A Denison restaurant has terminated an employee who allegedly verbally abused and refused to serve police officers early Saturday morning.

In a Facebook post, Chief Jay Burch said two of his officers went to a "local restaurant" just after midnight.  Burch did not name the establishment, but KTEN later determined it was the Whataburger on South Austin Avenue.

"My officers were refused service ... then cursed by that employee," Burch wrote. "The on-duty manager’s only response is: 'I don’t get into politics.'"

According to Burch, the employee said she would continue to refuse to serve police officers.

I’ve seen similar service refusal stories like this around the state and country, but never thought we’d see it locally. Yet, while disappointing that this one business takes or supports such an anti-police stance, we relish in the fact the majority of the Denison businesses and citizens we serve greatly support us and what we do to try to keep our community safe.

The chief said a police supervisor later went to the restaurant to speak to the employee in question, She stated that her boyfriend had been "beat up" by police when he was arrested a few weeks earlier, and she allegedly accused police of being "racists." 

Burch said that claim prompted police to review recordings of the arrest, which was determined to have been "routine" in nature.

Corpus Christi-based Whataburger said the company has launched an internal investigation into the incident.

We took swift action and this person is no longer employed by us. We've also reached out to the police sergeant to apologize and plan to speak with the other officers involved to apologize in person and make this right.

Chief Burch said the late night encounter at Whataburger will have no impact on his department's commitment to law enforcement.

Even though this one business accepts employees that refuse to serve and then curse cops, I guarantee you when they call 911 and need us, we’ll come running. That’s what cops do.


Here is a link to the original Facebook post from Police Chief Jay Burch:


 And here is the full statement from Whataburger corporate communications:

We immediately launched an internal investigation when we heard these reports, and have learned of an isolated incident where an individual employee acted out of line with Whataburger’s values to treat all customers with respect. We took swift action and this person is no longer employed by us. We've also reached out to the police sergeant to apologize and plan to speak with the other officers involved to apologize in person and make this right. Whataburger truly appreciates our law enforcement and their efforts to protect and serve our communities. 


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