Sgt. Paul Parizek, with the Des Moines Police Department, had not been in uniform but had been wearing a cap with the ‘Thin Blue Line’ flag on it
Two Dunkin’ Donuts employees have been fired after they refused to service an Iowa police sergeant who was wearing a ‘Thin Blue Line’ cap.
Sgt. Paul Parizek, with the Des Moines Police Department, was not in uniform when he went to the doughnut shop on East 14th Street.
He had been a steady customer to the shop for two years but explained to KXNO’s Morning Rush radio show that he would not be returning.
While the ‘Thin Blue Line’ symbol was initially a call of support for police officers, the symbol has since been co-opted and used by counter-protesters at Black Lives Matter demonstrations across the country.
Parizek shared that before he could place his order, one of the employees stopped him.
‘We are not going to serve you today,’ the employee said, according to Parizek.
A spokesperson said that two employees have been fired from the location
The woman repeated her statement for the sergeant, who inquired why. It was then that the employee looked at his hat.
Parizek left and spoke with the store’s manager, the local franchisee and the corporate office.
He’s expressed worry that someone at the location could have tampered with his drink. But while he did say he had no plans on returning, he wasn’t calling on a boycott on the chain.
‘No one can guarantee me they haven’t been doing something to those products these last four months,’ Parizek said.
Parizek, shown with his wife, Heather, had been going to that particular location for the past two years but expressed worry that the staff had tampered with his order
‘Back the Blue’ protesters demonstrate in Chicago at the former Christopher Columbus statue that was toppled by Black Lives Matter demonstrators last month. Many counter-protesters have co-opted the symbol to speak out against the demonstrations decrying police brutality
Dunkin’ released a statement saying that the employee and another staffer were no longer employed at the shop.
‘We are aware of the incident that took place at the Dunkin’ restaurant, located at 1220 E 14th Street in Des Moines, IA. The employees’ behavior is not consistent with Dunkin’s goal of creating an inclusive, welcoming environment for all our of guests,’ they said in a statement, KCCI reports.
‘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.’