A worker at an Arby’s fast food restaurant in Pembroke Pines, Florida recently refused to serve a police officer.
Officials said the reason the officer was refused service was because of his affiliation with the police department.
In recent years animosity toward law enforcement has increased due in large part to police violence against citizens and protests in response to perceived police violence in Ferguson, Missouri, Baltimore, Maryland and elsewhere around the country.
“I am offended and appalled that an individual within our community would treat a police officer in such a manner. It is unacceptable, and I will be contacting the Arby’s CEO to demand an apology,” Chief Dan Giustino, with the Pembroke Pines Police Department, said in a statement.
With the exception of race, and more recently sexual orientation, it is not illegal for a business or its employees to deny service to individuals.
A few states, however, have expanded the perceived discrimination of denying service. In California, it is illegal for a business owner to discriminate based on unconventional dress.
In 2013 a gay couple filed a discrimination suit against a Colorado bakery for refusing to bake a cake for their wedding. The complaint was filed by the ACLU in Colorado.
Prior to this, a Washington florist was sued for refusing to supply flowers for a same-sex wedding.