Grants Pass, OR – An on-duty police officer was refused service at a T-Mobile store in Grants Pass on Monday morning because he had his firearm.
Grants Pass Police Detective Ryan Brown stopped by the T-Mobile store, located on NE Terry Lane, on duty in plain clothes at about 11 am on Oct. 8.
His badge and duty weapon were visible.
His wife, Grants Pass Police Community Service Officer Jennifer Brown, told Blue Lives Matter that her husband had intended to purchase two new iPhones to replace his phone and her phone.
Community Service Officer Brown said that they were going to add two new accounts and pass their old phones down to their daughters.
Det. Brown was in the T-Mobile store talking about new phones with an employee when another employee came out from the back office and told him to take off his gun, his wife said.
“He advised them he was a police officer, and they stated that they have a no gun policy in their store,” she told Blue Lives Matter. She said the employee specifically told Det. Brown to go put his police duty weapon in his car.
Det. Brown, who is a veteran officer with more than 20 years of service with the Grants Pass PD, told the employees that he wasn’t going to remove his weapon because he was on duty with a badge.
The T-Mobile employees insisted that Det. Brown leave the store, his wife told Blue Lives Matter.
The detective started to leave, and then turned back and asked if he could have a printout of his account so he could close it out. But he said the employees refused to give it to him and asked him again to leave.
His wife said Det. Brown left the store to avoid creating any further issues.
“I was appalled, but my heart also broke a little bit for him,” Community Service Officer Brown said. “Someone that has given so much to this community for so long - it felt like a slap in the face. Almost as if they were giving him the middle finger instead of saying thank you for protecting us.”
After he left the T-Mobile store, he called his wife to tell her what happened. And then he went and opened a new phone account at U.S. Cellular, and called T-Mobile to cancel their existing phone plan.
She said he complained about the treatment to T-Mobile and they told him they would open a help ticket.
His wife grew up in a police family, and her father is currently a school resource officer with the Hillsboro Police Department. She said police officers were never treated this way when she was growing up.
“In fact, this is the first time we have ever experienced this,” Community Service Officer Brown told Blue Lives Matter. “Especially in our community, we are greeted with open arms. People like to see us in their businesses and their places of employment. The way he was treated is certainly not the norm.”
She said they plan to make sure everybody in their community know what happened at the T-Mobile store.
“Our colleagues, friends, and family will be made fully aware of this, and will take their business elsewhere,” Det. Brown’s wife said. “There are many other companies in this town that respect and are thankful for those in this profession. We will make certain that they’re the ones who get our business from now on.”
Det. Brown was not available for an interview with Blue Lives Matter prior to publication because he was conducting an investigation on Monday afternoon.
Blue Lives Matter contacted the Grants Pass T-Mobile store and spoke briefly with a manager named “Charles” who said he had no comment and referred us to corporate.
When we asked for his last name, the manager hung up the phone.
T-Mobile’s corporate headquarters has not yet responded to a request for comment.