A cashier at a Taco Bell in Phenix City, Alabama, has been fired after authorities say she refused to serve two Lee County deputies the night of July 16.
According to the Associated Press, Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said in a statement, that the deputies were told by the cashier that she will not serve them and they needed to leave.
“I’m very disappointed that simply because they were uniformed law enforcement officers that our deputies were treated in such negative fashion. We pride ourselves in giving people basic respect and only ask the same in return,” Jones said in a statement. “We won’t base our opinion of Taco Bell on one employee’s negative action any more than the general public should base their opinion of law enforcement on the negative action of one officer.”
Tammy Bush Mayo, the wife of another deputy, said she was “so outraged” she took to her Facebook page on July 16 to share the incident with her social media friends.
“My husband is a Deputy Sheriff in Lee County, Alabama and tonight a Deputy on his shift went into Taco Bell in Phenix City, AL and was told that they don’t serve cops,” she said in her post.
“A lady waiting for her food spoke up to say that she was about to ask for a refund because she didn’t want to eat somewhere with a cop. 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. We’re going to research this further but if this is what Taco Bell allows to happen, they have lost my business and I hope others of you will do the same.”
Since Saturday night’s incident, the former employee at Taco Bell, who has not been named, has been fired, spokeswoman Laura Nedbal said in a statement.
The franchise owner has also apologized to the sheriff’s department.
The incident follows the recent shooting deaths of three officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on July 17, and five police officers, who were killed in Dallas at a Black Lives Matter rally on July 7.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.