UPDATE: T-Mobile Takes Action Against Employee Who Demanded Officer Disarm
Grants Pass, OR – An executive from T-Mobile has apologized to the police detective who was asked to leave their Grants Pass store on Monday after he refused to disarm on duty.
Grants Pass Community Service Officer Jennifer Brown told Blue Lives Matter that she and her husband received a call on Monday night.
“We were contacted by the VP of T-Mobile West Coast Operations, who offered an apology on behalf of the business,” she reported.
Community Service Officer Brown said the executive told them that T-Mobile had investigated the situation.
“He pulled video surveillance and said that the employees’ statements of what occurred were not consistent with video,” she told Blue Lives Matter.
T-Mobile also reached out to Blue Lives Matter and said the incident that occurred did not reflect the company’s policies, and “we promptly investigated last night, that individual is no longer associated with the T-Mobile brand.”
The apology to the Browns was tendered by the cell phone company after Grants Pass Police Detective Ryan Brown stopped by a 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 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.
T-Mobile Executive Vice President Jon Freier tweeted Blue Lives Matter on Tuesday morning and said the company had “genuinely” apologized to the Browns for the incident at the Grants Pass store.
“We have investigated this issue at one of our independently owned and operated stores in Oregon,” Freier wrote. “While isolated at this one store with their employee, it’s clearly unacceptable. We will be taking the appropriate actions to ensure this does not happen again.”
The T-Mobile executive tweeted that what happened to Det. Brown was “very poor judgement” and said the company would be “taking the right set of actions and next steps.”