Manager Defends Employee Who Refused Cop Service, Company Fires Her Too

Roxboro Police Sergeant Kenneth Horton is also a U.S. Army veteran.

Roxboro, NC – Two Cook Out restaurant employees have been fired after one of them refused to serve a veteran Roxboro police officer last week.

The incident occurred on Nov. 7, when on-duty Roxboro Police Sergeant Kenneth Horton stopped by the Roxboro Cook Out at approximately 12:30 a.m., WTVD reported.

The uniformed officer, who is also a U.S. Army veteran, went inside the fast food joint to place his order, but the cashier behind the counter refused to serve him.

The now-former Cook Out manager said she was working at the back of the restaurant that night, and confirmed that the incident occurred, WNCN reported.

"If a cashier doesn't feel comfortable taking someone's order, it's not wrong for them to have someone else do it or contact the manager,” the ex-manager explained, according to WTVD. “I just wish they would have asked me to come up front to take their order.”

The ex-manager said that the cashier asked another employee to take Sgt. Horton’s order instead.

But when the second employee stepped in, the officer asked what happened to the initial cashier.

A short while later, Sgt. Horton walked away.

Word of the incident soon spread on social media, and eventually made their way to Cook Out’s corporate office, WTVD reported.

"We did not contact corporate directly asking them to fire this employee," Roxboro Police Chief David Hess told the news outlet. "Cook Out took it upon themselves to take action."

The ex-manager said she didn’t initially know about the way the officer was treated because she was working in the rear portion of the restaurant at the time, WNCN reported.

“I didn’t know nothing — that it was that serious until the next day I heard the cashier got fired because she didn’t take the cop’s order,” the now-fired manager said said.

The district manager also fired the manager, who had been with the company for 10 years.

“He told me he had to let me go because I didn’t take control of the situation, saying how I should have gone outside to take the cop’s order,” the now-former manager told WNCN. “Mind you, it was midnight and policy states that we’re not allowed outside the building after 9:45. So, why would I go outside to chase down a cop?”

She said that it was unfair that she lost her job over the incident.

“It is frustrating because it’s a lie. And they got all this stuff stirred up. And I lost my job and I got four kids and it’s Christmas time,” she told WNCN. “So yeah, that’s not fair at all.”

She said she does not want the company to rehire her, WSOC reported.

“I’m mad. I’m pissed. I was hurt,” she said. “I just gotta find something else.”

Chief Hess said that the entire incident should never have happened and could have been avoided, WTVD reported.

"We're saddened that an employee denied service to a police officer,” the chief said. “We promote unity…Unfortunately, it's all because of a small action that could have been avoided."

He reiterated that the Roxboro Police Department had nothing to do with the corporate office’s decision to fire the two employees.

“We…appreciate Cook Out’s commitment to their core values,” Chief Hess told WRAL.

Comments (92)
No. 1-26
hoss377
hoss377

When your in in food service there is no room for biased and bigoted beliefs,Cook Out did the right thing.

GloriaMia
GloriaMia

She lost my support at "I didn't know nothing". Because she obviously doesn't know, anything.

Boristhecat
Boristhecat

These people are destroying everything. Even when they are caught on video cameras, they deny they did anything. I think the USA is heading toward another Civil War!!!

flybynight
flybynight

I guess when you interview someone for a job at fast food, better ask if they plan on refusing service to LE or anyone else for that matter. If they say yes then don't hire them.

floridacop
floridacop

I believe if you have a dislike for any member of LEO or Vet then you should not be in the retail service/ food service industry. I guess that has to be a new question on interviews but is that a lawsuit waiting to happen

Jlna5434
Jlna5434

this kind of thing need to address at the interview. Explain to the interviewee if they refuse service to anyone that walks thru those doors terminated will be terminated immediately. This is a place of business and you are to keep your bias to yourself and conduct yourself professionally. PERIOD.

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

The employee who refused to serve anyone because of who they are deserved to be fired. If you don't want to do your job, and treat all customers equally, then GTFO.

The manager was in another part of the restaurant, doing her job, and had nothing to do with this incident. If the employee was acting in accordance with Cook Out policies, than the manager was made to be a scapegoat for a poor corporate policy

Vodkabreakfast
Vodkabreakfast

In one of my first jobs working in a gas station/minimart it was policy to offer free coffee to all emergency service members - not all of the chains did this. We were the only place in that area not getting robbed. I considered it a perk.

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

" I lost my job and I got four kids and it’s Christmas time” Well you should have thought of that before telling the news station that it's okay to not serve cops, because it causes discomfort. I wonder how those cop-hating former employees will feel when they need a cop?

MJTECH
MJTECH

These people are nuts, they want LEO's to keep their communities safe, but do not want LEO's to enforce the laws that produce that goal.

pattyollie
pattyollie

She states” why would I go outside to chase down a cop to take his order”?... because your job is to serve the public period you got what you deserved.

vwiles34
vwiles34

At 12:30 AM they should be thrilled to have a uniformed officer in their business. I'm guessing the POS that refused to serve him was afraid her crackhead friends might not stop in. If you're going to work in a place serving the public you need to be able to leave your personal opinions or prejudice at home. But these kids today think they should be able to do or say as they please. Roxboro isn't a very big city so I'm sure everyone knows about this so I hope no one will hire this little hoodrat.

rix is retired
rix is retired

Now both the manager AND clerk can brag to their friends that they didn't have to do 'nothing', that they didnt want to do.... Grow up cuz if you don't, YOU are going to be the one suffering.... and NO big group will be there to CYA all the time.

Fazehiddon
Fazehiddon

And this moron will raise yet another generation of derelicts...and civilization continues to decline...

Terminaters168
Terminaters168

I didn’t know nothing. Typical ignorant 13 percenter

DSmith2018
DSmith2018

“Small action”?? It was a mighty explosive impactful action that screams loudly if these “small actions” continue to take wind. 🔥This kind of practice needs to be dealt with immediately. Now she’s fired and the kids get no presents. Hope they enjoy their ignorance now

HonestC
HonestC

It's the manager's own fault she got fired. Why are you allowing the FEELINGS of your employees to get in the way of a BUSINESS you don't own?!! Only the owner has the right for that call, lady.

Next time, inform your employees unless the customer is making a clear threat, they have to serve them . . . and with a smile.

DMartel
DMartel

All employees have a code of conduct because if they do something creating liability it would be the company and not the Employees who are sued because while on the job they represent the company. I worked for a NYS Mental health agency. People protested some care policies. I couldn't join their protest during my work day, even if I agreed with their position on issues.

Stanracer
Stanracer

When managers are hiring staff they need to make sure the person clearly understands all the rules. Apparently this is hard for a certain group of people to understand.

61mouse
61mouse

manger she said she seen what happen . As a boss you go up and find out what the problem is.

bryantrent
bryantrent

She desrved to get fired

Caroparks53
Caroparks53

Uh..race of these individuals please..leave it out as usual

BatCrapCrazy
BatCrapCrazy

I kind of feel bad for the manager. If she was in the back she didn't have immediate control of the employee. But, ultimately she is in charge of what happens in that store and the employee's actions reflect on her. If her employees had any respect for her or for themselves they'd act accordingly and just do their job.

BlueLM101
BlueLM101

Employees wouldn't know that they could refuse service to someone they don't feel comfortable serving, unless s/he told them. Would it be acceptable if a white employee refused to serve a Spanish or a black employ refused to serve a Chinese? What if it was an employee who didn't want to serve someone because they are part of our LGBTQ community? How about someone that rides motorcycles or is wearing a hijab? Absolutely not! Serve everyone and if there is a problem, notify your manager for guidance. Failing to serve someone who is in a uniform, any uniform, is not acceptable.

tuggingalong
tuggingalong

Refusing the police officer service is “discrimination”.

The media has too much influence in our lives. Turn off your televisions, seek the truth, and use common sense.

dcoskrey
dcoskrey

In today's police hating landscape, companies, particularly restaurants, need to get in front of the issue. Have a meeting and tell everyone there is zero tolerance for refusing to serve a police officer or ANYONE for that matter. Since when does a freakin cashier get to do that bullshit on the clock? My first job was a bag boy at a grocery store, I can just imagine if I tried to refuse service to someone. The old lady who hired me would have kicked my ass. Good for Cook Out for supporting the police, swiftly and unquestioning!