In a lengthy post on the Denison Police Department’s Facebook page, Police Chief Jay Burch chastised a Whataburger employee for refusing to serve two Denison police officers early Saturday morning.
The post said the employee cursed the officers and that the on-duty manager’s response was that: “I don’t get into politics.”
“If a business does not want police officers as customers, just let us know,” the post stated. “There’s no need to curse us and make a scene, just let us know you don’t want us there and we’ll go somewhere else.”
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Denison is about 100 miles northeast of Fort Worth off U.S. 75.
Whataburger corporate posted a message on it’s Facebook page saying that it did not condone this behavior and they are addressing the situation immediately, according to a story from the Herald Democrat.
The Star-Telegram reached out to Whataburger’s corporate communications office which sent the following statement: “We immediately launched an internal investigation when we heard these reports, and have learned of an isolated incident where an individual employee acted out of line with Whataburger’s values to treat all customers with respect. We took swift action and this person is no longer employed by us. We’ve also reached out to the police sergeant to apologize and plan to speak with the other officers involved to apologize in person and make this right. Whataburger truly appreciates our law enforcement and their efforts to protect and serve our communities.”
Whataburger employees who were involved in the incident will go through retraining, a Whataburger official said.
A police supervisor who visited that Whataburger after the incident said the employee told him that police officers arrested and beat up her boyfriend a few weeks ago, but a review of the video and audio recordings from that arrest showed no physical confrontation, the police chief’s post said.
Reaction to Burch’s post has been outspoken.
Whataburger was in the news last month when a former manager at a Florida franchise said that she was told in 2015 to hire white employees because the company wanted “faces behind the counter to match the customer base.”
After being told to sift through job applications and only interview those with “names that sounded white,” she went on to hire eight new workers — one white and seven black, according to a statement from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
“She was subjected to an ongoing pattern of retaliatory conduct including verbal abuse, intimidation, threats, a drastic change in schedule, and unwarranted discipline,” according to the EEOC statement. “The retaliatory conduct ultimately forced the restaurant manager to resign from her position.”
Whataburger officials have denied the allegations.