Chipotle NYPD Service Refusal Likely Didn’t Happen; Company Denies Incident in Brookyln

December 29, 2014 Updated: December 29, 2014

A viral Facebook post is saying that a New York Chipotle refused to serve eight uniformed NYPD officers after two were shot last weekend.

However, the post–that’s being widely circulated on Facebook and Twitter–was likely taken from a Facebook page and reworded with added details.

“It has been confirmed to me by an officer involved at the incident that when several officers working a detail yesterday within the confines of the NYPD 84th Precinct (one of my old commands) entered a Chipotle Mexican Grill, located at 185 Montague Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 in uniform, several of the employees raised their hands & said “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” to the officers. The officers simply left the location without any further action at the scene rather than provoke what could be a losing situation, given the current climate of “support” from our Mayor,” reads a Dec. 17 post.

However, the story was reworded and it says that eight officers were refused service following the shooting deaths of NYPD Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.

The post doesn’t give a time or a date.

As hoax-debunking website notes, the whole thing probably isn’t true.

“Also missing from the claim are details about the alleged incident’s progression. It’s not clear whether the employees collectively and simultaneously decided to engage in a protest action that could lead to disciplinary consequences, nor whether the claim of refused service stemmed from direct refusal on the part of the employees or a tacit lack of welcome inherent in the gesture allegedly performed. Neither does the story specify what “the crew” entailed, was it every single Chipotle worker on duty, or just the ones manning the guacamole station?” it reads.

Meanwhile, Chipotle issued a response and denied the accusations that one of its chains denied service to NYPD officers.

The company works “hard to be sure that all of our customers feel welcome in our restaurants and apologize if the actions of any of our employees suggested otherwise. When this happened roughly two weeks ago, we investigated and have taken appropriate measures to be sure this doesn’t happen again,” it said in a statement.

“We do want you to know, however, that we did not refuse service to anyone, nor did our staff conspire to make a gesture. It appears that any activity that took place was undertaken by a single employee, spontaneously. I hope that helps.”

A representative gave a longer response and described the incident to Snopes:

On Dec. 16, a group of eight NY police officers came to one our Brooklyn restaurants at about 6:15 PM, and before approaching the counter saw a single Chipotle employee raise her hands in what appears to have been a spontaneous, unplanned gesture of protest directed at the police. The group of officers then left without ordering food. In no way was this statement from our employee consistent with our culture and values. Quite the contrary. We work very hard to make all of our customers feel welcome in our restaurants.

Since being notified of this incident, we have conducted a review to determine what happened, including review of video footage from security cameras and interviews with our restaurant team. We have also taken appropriate actions with regard to the employee involved, and reiterated to our operations teams the importance of making all of our customers feel welcome in our restaurants. No exceptions. Finally, we have apologized to many of the people who have contacted us regarding this issue.

Above all, we apologize to the officers involved. We serve law enforcement officials in our restaurants around the country every day, and we appreciate their service.

Quite simply, this incident should never have happened.