A controversy involving a Broward County Arby's employee refusing to serve a Pembrokes Pines police officer has spilled over the county line. The Miami-Dade County Police Benevolent Association has now called for a nationwide boycott of the roast-beef-sandwich chain.
The incident allegedly happened Monday night when Pembroke Pines Police Sgt. Jennifer Martin tried to order a quick bite at the takeout window at the Arby's at 11755 Pines Blvd. According to New Times Broward-Palm Beach, the 19-year-old clerk on duty took Martin's credit card, but then the manager approached the window to say the clerk didn't want to serve Martin because she was a cop, so, with a laugh, the manager handed Martin her order. Martin was worried about the food's safety and went inside to get a refund. She collected her money as well as the manager's information, but the clerk refused to talk to her.
Arby’s Chief Executive Officer Paul Brown and Senior Vice President of Operations Scott Boatwright personally contacted Pembroke Pines Chief Dan Giustino to apologize and assured him that the incident was not Arby's policy or indicative of their values. Giustino told the media he accepted that it was an isolated incident and considered the case closed.
Leaders of local chapters of the Police Benevolent Association, a union-like organization whose chapter heads are elected directly by officers and are separate from official police leadership, however, are not so quick to let the situation go.
“It is beyond comprehension and deeply troubling that a business would deny service to a law enforcement officer just for being a law enforcement officer," John Rivera, president of the Miami-Dade and Florida PBA associations, said in a statement. "In this case, after the clerk refused to serve the officer, the manager came up to the window laughing and said that the clerk had the right to refuse service to the officer. This is yet another example of the hostile treatment of our brave men and women simply because they wear a badge. It is unacceptable and warrants much more than an apology. We support our brothers and sisters who wear the badge in Broward County and across the United States. Until corrective action is taken and the employees involved in this incident are terminated, we are calling for a national boycott of Arby’s."
Broward's PBA also called for a boycott while somehow taking a shot at President Barack Obama, who, New Times can confirm, was not involved in the incident.
“This behavior is unacceptable,” BCPBA President Jeff Marano said in his statement. “The distain and lack of respect for law enforcement, as well as the fatal attacks on the men and women in uniform in America, is due to a lack of leadership — starting with our Commander-in-Chief, President Barack Obama.”
Broward County is the most overwhelmingly Democratic county in Florida.
“Law enforcement is under siege in the United States,” Marano continued.
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The release cited that, "according to statistics tracked at the Officer Down Memorial organization, there have been 83 line-of-duty deaths so far in 2015. There were 14 deaths in August, including 24 deaths this year involving firearms."
Unfortunately, being a police officer can often prove to be a dangerous job; however, there is no sudden statistical uptick in the number of police deaths on duty during 2015. Through the end of August 2014, 84 police officers died in the line of duty, according to the Officer Down Memorial organizations. Deaths involving firearms were also down in 2015 from the same timeframe in 2014 (only 24 deaths this year are blamed on firearms; other deaths were attributed to 9/11-related illness, heart attacks, and automobile accidents). There were 78 deaths through the end of August 2013.
Basically, though, both PBA chapters want the 19-year-old clerk terminated from his job or else they want every Arby's in the nation boycotted.