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5 Oct, 2015 18:27

Dunkin' employee writes #blacklivesmatter on cop's coffee, police are not amused

Dunkin' employee writes #blacklivesmatter on cop's coffee, police are not amused

A police officer in Providence, Rhode Island, received a coffee at Dunkin' Donuts with the message, "#blacklivesmatter" written on the cup, referring to the national movement highlighting police brutality towards people of color.

An employee at Dunkin' Donuts on Atwells Avenue in Providence "was immediately rude, and didn’t appear to want to serve him in Uniform," according to Providence police officer William O’Donnell, who wrote of the incident involving a fellow officer in a private Facebook post.

The incident occured on Friday. The local police union ‒ Providence Police Patrolman and Providence Fraternal Order of Police ‒  held an emergency meeting on Sunday, according to Boston.com, and released a statement "condemning the employee and the Black Lives Matter movement."

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The statement went on: "Providence FOP #3 finds this action to be unacceptable and discouraging... The negativity displayed by the #Blacklivesmatter organization towards Police across this nation is creating a hostile environment that is not resolving any problems or issues, but making it worse for our communities."

Mike Iamondi, the Providence Police Patrolman and Providence FOP vice president, told GoLocalProv.com that they were concerned about the contents of the coffee.

"We have to look at the possibility if 'Black Lives Matter' is on the cup, is there anything else going into the cup?" Iamondi said. "That is a possibility, given what's going on around the country. If a guy goes in for a cup of coffee at a place we know, where we're patrons at, and they've always been great with us, do we have to worry?"

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Iamondi added, "This is unacceptable ‒ all lives matter. We took great offense. Has it gotten to the point everywhere we go, do we have to wonder if someone is going to try and slip us something and without us knowing?  Where does it end?

"This is not a reflection on the owner, this is a single act by a single employee, and it's unacceptable.  I don't know what Dunkin' Donuts is going to do, they're representing the company. I'll tell you right now,  this is not a game, we're tired of being the whipping boys.  The few random acts of police overstepping their bounds nationally, there are more incidents of police officers handling themselves in professional manner, every day."

A spokesperson for the Massachusetts-based company told Boston.com that "Dunkin’ Donuts and our franchisees want all guests to be treated well in our restaurants. The franchisee has apologized on behalf of the employee to the police and very much regrets the situation."

The franchisee has "counseled the employee," the spokesperson told WWLP.

In September, an Arby's employee in Florida was accused of telling a uniformed police officer that he did not want to serve her "because you are a police officer." That employee was later fired. Weeks later, an employee at a Whataburger in Texas reportedly told two police officers, "we don't serve police."