- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Two North Carolina fast-food employees have been terminated after they refused to serve a police officer.

Last week, police officer and U.S. Army veteran Kenneth Horton went to a Cook Out franchise in Roxboro, North Carolina, when the cashier refused to serve him.

“We’re saddened that an employee denied service to a police officer. We promote unity. The public here knows that. And, unfortunately, this incident has created a divide but it is only because of a small action that could have been avoided,” Roxboro Police Chief David Hess told WTVD in an interview Monday.

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Talk of Mr. Horton’s experience made the rounds both in the local community and online and a Cook Out district manager heard of the controversy,  subsequently firing both the cashier and the restaurant manager on duty at the time of the incident.

“We did not contact corporate directly asking them to fire this employee. Cook Out took it upon themselves to take action,” said Chief Hess.

No reason has been given as to why the cashier refused the police officer, but the fired manager — a 10 year Cook Out employee and mother of four who asked WTVD not to be identified — says she wishes the cashier had come to get her and asked her to take the order instead of turning the officer away outright.

“If a cashier doesn’t feel comfortable taking somebody else’s order, it’s not wrong for them to ask somebody else do it or contact the manager,” the fired store manager, who did not wish to give her name, told WTVD.  She added, however, she likely would have been uncomfortable taking the officer’s order after her cashier had refused him.

“[The district manager] told me that I should have went outside and got the officer’s attention and, I guess, offered to take his order,” she told WTVD.

“I’m mad. I’m pissed. I was hurt,” she added. “I just got to find something else. I got bills, kids and Christmas is coming up.”

Neither Cook Out nor Mr. Horton has released a statement about the encounter.

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