On Tuesday night, an Alabama police officer who was a 20-year veteran of the force, a U.S. Navy veteran who served in Operation Desert Storm, and a certified sniper for his department’s SWAT team, was refused service by two employees of a local Little Caesars pizza restaurant, precipitating a community uproar and the firing of the employees Wednesday morning.
Dora Police Sgt. Ronnie Phillips posted his experience on social media, writing that he was driving his patrol vehicle when he went to pick up their dinner. He wrote:
People want to throw fits about racism in this country!!!!! People want to say how u dislike the police!!!! Well I’m telling u I have been in law enforcement for 20 years. I have tried my dead level best to be even across the board. If u are respectful to me u get respect. No matter what the problem is no matter color race religion or anything else! I pulled up to little Caesars on my way home from work in my marked police unit this evening to get supper for my family.
As I pulled up in line I noticed a female outside taking an order from the car in front of me who was not up to the window. As we moved up in line I saw that same female with another female and they made a guy come from what appeared to be the back come out to take my order. I spoke with the young man about it. When I pulled on up to the window both of the females stood by the window and walked back and fourth (sic) but refused to take my order take my money or anything!!!!! My family and I have been coming here since they opened several years ago!!!!
I have NEVER in my entire life done anything, don’t know that I’ve ever even seen these females before. I can assure u I will never come back to this store!!!! People tell police that we are suppose to be thick skinned and not let stuff get to us!!!! It just...... well honestly PISSES ME OFF!!!! Having said all of this, the manager was very polite when I went back in to cancel my order and get my money back!!!!! I have to be fair to her and the young man that waited on me in line and at the window!!!! Both very professional and polite! The young man even spoke with me about having received citations from the agency I work for!!!!
Contacted by Blue Lives Matter on Wednesday morning, Jill Proctor, corporate communications manager for Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc., said, “We are proud to serve those who tirelessly serve us and we always strive to do the best. A customer service situation occurred at one of our locations where the crew members of this independently owned and operated franchise location did not follow our core principles. Upon investigation these two crew members were immediately terminated.”
Sgt. Phillips acknowledged that Little Caesars’ corporate offices called him on Wednesday morning. He stated, “I have already received a phone call from a corporate representative. He was very respectful and apologized for the behavior of the employees of that store. He advised that the people responsible for this behavior have been disciplined. He also wanted me to know that this type of behavior was not the motto of the store nor would it be tolerated. He also thanked me for coming forward with my complaint.
After the outrage of the local community over the incident, Little Caesars posted this: