A North Carolina branch of the fast food restaurant Zaxby’s was the latest site of anti-police violence, as law enforcement across the country face hatred and mistreatment following the shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota.
In a now-removed Facebook post, the wife of a Cleveland County officer said her husband and his partner were verbally attacked by employees and served tainted food while at a Shelby, North Carolina Zaxby’s restaurant on June 10.
“As they walked up to place their orders, the boys in the back cooking the food started yelling at them and calling them names,” the wife wrote. “Then, as they sat down to eat their food, my husband realized [they] had put the hottest sauce possible on [his] wings — to the point where his food wasn’t even fit to eat.”
Local news stations reported that angry Shelby residents are pledging to never eat at a Zaxby’s again, and the franchise owner has apologized.
“The owner of the franchise said it took a long time to build a good relationship with the community and he wants to keep that good reputation, both with the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office and with the people in the community.”
“Me, my team, my family all take this incident extremely seriously,” franchise owner Neil Glezen said. “We are going to do whatever we have to do to improve that relationship going forward.”
WBTV caught up with Cleveland County Capt. Joel Shores, who expressed frustration with the current perception of police officers—he said his team faces taunts and insults like these daily.
“Years ago, this profession was respected, it was honored. Now to get ridiculed, to be a target, to possibly get shot at, for little pay… what’s the motivation to be a police officer other than do it because your heart’s in it to help the community?” Shores said.
Zaxby’s corporate offices have not said whether the errant employees have been fired, but they did say an investigation was launched.