A local police chief in Texas was asked to leave a doctor’s office on Tuesday, Aug. 8, because he was carrying his handgun openly.
Conroe’s chief of police, Phillip Dupuis, told The Courier he had his badge in plain view next to his handgun on his belt. He also had his Conroe PD identification hanging around his neck when he first walked into the Texas Ear Nose and Throat Specialists’ office at Pinecroft Drive.
Dupuis, a 35-year law enforcement veteran said a receptionist checked his driver’s license and insurance card before questioning him about the gun.
He said the receptionist asked him to remove his gun and take it to his car. But the chief, who has never had an accidental discharge, refused to disarm and continued to say he was a police officer.
It was at that moment that the police chief was asked to leave the building.
“It’s just bad,” Dupuis told The Courier. “My badge is clearly displayed. I have my lanyard on with ‘police’ on my ID card hanging around my neck. I had handcuffs. The lobby was full of people, and they asked me to leave because of who I am.”
Police are legally allowed to openly carry at any location in the state of Texas under state law.
“I didn’t think twice about it because I can and do carry everywhere,” he said.
“I carry to protect myself and I carry to protect my family and the public.”
But Dupuis also acknowledged that even though Texas carry laws allowed him to open carry, private businesses or property owners can create weapon-free zones. The owner must then post signs that either allow or not allow open carry and concealed carry.
According to KHOU, there were notices posted outside the door of the doctor’s office that clearly state it prohibits both concealed- and open-carry firearms inside the building.
“These people have the right to do what they did and refuse my service,” he said. “Legally, they can ask me to leave because I’m not there on official business.”
Dupuis first went to Facebook to comment on his poor treatment. He said I had “never been so embarrassed in my 35 years of law enforcement” and that he would be looking for a new doctor.
The manager of the Texas Ear Nose and Throat office, Ryan Johnson told The Courier he called Dupuis to apologize. Johnson said they have the same signs for firearms as other doctors’ offices.
“Mr. Dupuis identified himself as a police officer,” Johnson told The Courier. “This situation simply should not have happened.”
Johnson said that none doctors at the office were aware of the incident.
“This was a mistake,” Johnson said. “All we can do is sincerely apologize for it and will use it to teach our employees how to better handle these situations when they arise.”
In a Facebook post from the doctor’s office, they say they “regret” what happened and “sincerely apologize” to Chief Dupuis.
Dupuis said the incident made him rethink his two children’s plan to become police officers.
“After a day like today, I want to come home and try and talk them out of it,” Dupuis said. “I shouldn’t have to talk my children out of being in a profession that I have loved for so long and has provided for me and my family a good life. When I see something like this, I don’t want my kids going through this.”
In an updated Facebook post, the police chief said that while the office made general statements that its employees were out of line he said no one from the practice has called him since the manager called, including his former doctor.
He said in the post he hopes “officers will not be treated this way in the future.”
Comments from the community on his Facebook post, overwhelmingly support the police chief.
Police Union Calls for Boycott of Dunkin’ Donuts after Clerk Refuses to Serve Officers
By Ivan Pentchoukov
A Dunkin’ Donuts clerk in Brooklyn refused to serve two police officers on Sunday, July 30, saying “I don’t serve cops.”
The officers with the New York Police Department reported the incident and now the head of the detectives union is asking police to boycott the chain, according to the New York Post.
Detectives’ Endowment Association President Michael Palladino said the clerk’s blatant discrimination was “disgraceful and it should not go unattended.”
“I assume it is an isolated incident. Nevertheless, Dunkin’ Donuts corporate should issue an apology to the NYPD and until that happens, I have asked detectives and their families to refrain from patronizing the stores,” he said.
Paladino also blamed local politicians for inspiring such incidents by casting police in a negative light.
“Political leaders in this city have encouraged this type of behavior by constantly demonizing cops and pushing their decriminalization agenda,” he said.
Rank and file police officers are openly upset with city Mayor Bill de Blasio, and have repeatedly turned their backs on him at public events.
“It’s time for the same politicians to step up, take some responsibility and condemn what occurred,” Paladino added.
The two plainclothes officers went into a Dunkin’ Donuts at 1993 Atlantic Ave. in the early afternoon to buy ice cream.
The officers waited in line behind a customer. They wore dress pants, shirts, and ties, but were wearing their badges and pistols on their belts. When it was their turn to order, the clerk ignored them and asked the man behind them for his order.
The man gave the clerk his order and told him that the officers were ahead of him in line.
“Yeah, I know, but I don’t serve cops,” the clerk replied.
The store’s manager disputed the account.
“These two men in shirts and ties—who I later found out were police—must have never come to this Dunkin’ Donuts before, because instead of waiting in the line where you order, they waited at the counter where you pick up your order.”
“You can see on the security tape: they stand here for five minutes, while other customers were being served. One customer even ordered ice cream, and they must’ve not like that because they left the store,” he added.
The manager would not allow The Post to see CCTV footage of the incident or reveal his name.
The manager also said that he “started getting phone calls from people saying they were police, asking, ‘Why didn’t you serve these officers?'”
“And I kept trying to explain that we serve everyone, we have nothing but respect for the police, and that they were standing at the wrong counter. It was busy at the time, and we were busy serving customers,” he said.