An employee of a chocolate shop in Seattle was sacked after refusing to serve police officers, the shop owner announced in a statement last week.
“We work to advance diversity and inclusion at our business, and for our team members to follow their passions and to be engaged in the critical issues we face as a city, and a nation,” Christian Wong, the owner of Chocolati, said. “However, our team members cannot decide which customers to serve based on their own personal political beliefs. This simply is not an acceptable practice at our business.”
“It was in the best interests of both parties to part ways with the team member,” he added.
The announcement came after the Seattle Police Department members said they were refused service when they tried to buy things from the store.
“No, I won’t serve you,” an employee informed one of the uniformed police officers, who was accompanied by a trainee, after they attempted to make a purchase at Chocolati, according to the Post Millennial.
A third officer informed the news outlet that he had been treated similarly at another Chocolati location.
A Chocolati employee swore at and abused a Post Millennial reporter after being approached.
Chocolati’s website stated that the company’s mission is to “grow at a steady pace without compromising the quality and the personal attention we give to our customers and to our chocolates.”
The company also used social media to support the Black Lives Matter campaign, encouraging consumers to participate in Blackout Day 2020 and only spend money at companies owned by black people.
Mike Solan, president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, said the officers were greeted with “a bit of hostility,” but praised the public’s support for officers following the incidents.
“But based upon the amount of pushback that company has received from the public and across the nation is that people are still really supportive of the police,” Solan stated.
In his statement, Wong also said that he intends to meet with an officer who was refused service to “personally apologize—just as I would apologize to any customer who was refused service on the basis of an employee’s personal views.”
There is a growing anti-police atmosphere following the recent police killings of black people.
According to interim Police Chief Adrian Diaz, the Seattle Police Department is currently experiencing a “staffing crisis beyond mitigation.” In response to demands from Black Lives Matter activists, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan signed a city budget in December that cuts police spending by 20%.