The female officer “was wearing a marked police polo shirt,” yet was turned away.
According to WBKO, Sheriff Shane Doyle of neighboring Edmonson County commented on the incident:
I was upset, I was shocked for that officer and also for all the patrons there because you know if you have an obvious police officer and they’re wearing police clothing, then I don’t understand what the problem would be having someone like that with the training and experience of a police officer into an establishment.
Doyle added, “I’ve seen Bowling Green officers in polos many times in my history working in law enforcement, and obviously I recognize that person as a sworn employee.”
Chuck E. Cheese’s national headquarters responded to the denial of service by saying it was a “misunderstanding” and the employee who refused service to the officer never should have done so. They made clear that the company’s gun-free policies only apply to “off duty non-uniformed officers” and law-abiding patrons.
On August 17, A Jimmy John’s sandwich shop employee in Edina, Minnesota, was fired for refusing service to a police officer.
That was preceded by an incident in Virginia Beach where an IHOP hostess reportedly told an officer, “We don’t serve your kind.” News Channel 3 reported that an IHOP spokesman said the hostess never used that phrase. Rather, he said, “the hostess jokingly said they were closed.” He said everyone misunderstood what happened, that the hostess was actually “trying to make a joke.”