Dunkin’ Donuts has found itself in hot water once again after two of its employees refused to service an Iowa police sergeant because of the cap he’s wearing.
“We’re not going to serve you today.”
That is the greeting Sergeant Paul Parizek of the Des Moines Police Department says he was given on Saturday morning at a Des Moines Dunkin’ Donuts location.
And their reason for not serving the officer? Because he was wearing a ‘Thin Blue Line’ cap and was in plain clothes when he went to the doughnut shop on East 14th Street Saturday morning. He had frequented the shop for almost two years, but won’t be patronizing the outlet anymore after his experience.
For those who are unaware, the ‘Thin Blue Line’ symbol was initially a call for support for police officers on the frontline. It has since been adopted by counter-protesters at Black Lives Matter demonstrations across the nation.
Parizek recounted to KXnO The Morning Rush how he was stopped by one of the employees just before he could place his order.
“We are not going to serve you today,” the employee said, the officer recalled. “I said, ‘Are you serious?’ And she just kinda stared at me and I said, ‘What’s going on?’ She said, ‘We’re not gonna serve you today and you need to leave.’” When the sergeant inquired why, the employee reportedly looked at his hat.
After issuing his complaint, Dunkin’ confirmed that this was not some store policy but an isolated incident involving two employees. They confirmed that being turned away had nothing to do with the managers at the location or the coffee shop’s view of police officers.
In a statement, Dunkin’ Donuts addressed the incident:
“We are aware of the incident that took place at the Dunkin’ restaurant, located at 1220 E 14th Street in Des Moines, IA. The employee’s behavior is not consistent with Dunkin’s goal of creating an inclusive, welcoming environment for all our guests. Additionally, Dunkin’ respects the efforts of our police force as they work to maintain a safe community for all of us. The franchise owner, who independently owns and operates this restaurant, informs us that the two individuals responsible have been terminated. The franchise owner has also connected with the police officer to apologize for the experience.”
Despite the statement, Parizek is done with that Dunkin’ location.
“As recently as Tuesday, one of the young ladies in there took cash money out of my hands to go into her pocket, and then Saturday decides, ‘Well, you’re a racist cop, and we’re not going to serve you.’” he said in the interview, “Not cool.”
Watch the video below for more details: