RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – An apology from the owner of a restaurant to Raleigh Police followed the viral explosion of a post detailing how officers said they were disrespected while eating at a Smithfield’s Chicken and BBQ on Jones Sausage Road.
The post, which resulted in more than 400,000 views, has now prompted an investigation by the Police Department and Smithfield’s.
The association representing Raleigh police officers has since taken down the original post as they wait to see what’s going to happen next.
But what supposedly happened at the restaurant certainly has had an impact.
Customers still come and go at the Smithfield’s but retired law enforcement officer Alfred John said he is through.
“I’m going to stop coming here,” Jones said. “I come here all the time but I’m going to stop after I read this.”
He’s reacting to the story that some Raleigh police officers on break were disrespected when some employees supposedly sang the N.W.A song “(Expletive) tha Police.”
Rick Armstrong with the Raleigh Police Protective Association said incidents like what is said to have happened at Smithfield’s is something officers face on the street all the time.
“But to take a meal break and have somebody do that – it’s disgusting disrespectful and disappointing to those officers,” Armstrong said.
After posting the story on social media, the post went viral and the franchise owner responded with an online apology.
“He was very apologetic and it felt like a heartfelt apology we’re grateful that it was a quick apology,” Armstrong told CBS North Carolina over the phone.
As a result, the Association pulled its social media post complaining about the treatment officers received and is waiting to see what happens next.
The lawyer for the franchise owner told CBS North Carolina they are conducting an investigation.
“I met with the store owner today at the request of his sister, whom I know well. I can report that the investigation into this matter is ongoing. We can assure you it will be thorough and transparent and we will report on the findings once it is complete.
There’s been a lot of social media activity about this situation, some of it vicious, inaccurate, and incomplete, and it has resulted in misinformation. The goal here is to make sure we all know the truth and to ensure we continue the strong relationship the restaurant has with the Raleigh Police Department, its officers, and all those that protect and serve.” — Mark O’Mara, attorney
Meanwhile, the Protective Association says support for the officers involved has been overwhelming from the general public as well as from law enforcement from as far away as Orange County, California.