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A Seattle chocolate shop employee was fired for refusing to serve a police officer last week, the store’s owner said in an about-face after initially backing the worker’s “freedom of speech.”
The cop was with a trainee when he dropped by a Chocolati Cafes shop in the Wallingford neighborhood, according to the head of the police union.
“They were met with a bit of hostility,” Mike Solan, president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, told Fox News.
Chocolati owner Christian Wong on Wednesday addressed the issue on the company’s Facebook page, saying, “Although we do respect this team member’s freedom of speech, the actions in this instance do not represent our views as a company.
“We are actively working directly with this team member and the local precinct to create a more inviting, inclusive and cohesive community for all.”
The post sparked backlash, going viral with more than 5,000 comments.
Two days later, Wong announced that the employee in question and the company decided to “part ways.”
“We work to advance diversity and inclusion at our business, and for our team members to follow their passions and to be engaged in the critical issues we face as a city, and a nation,” Wong wrote. “However, our team members cannot decide which customers to serve based on their own personal political beliefs. This simply is not an acceptable practice at our business.”
Wong said he planned on meeting with the officer involved on Sunday to “personally apologize — just as I would apologize to any customer who was refused service on the basis of an employee’s personal views.”
Solan noted that the pushback against the sweets shop proved “that people are still really supportive of the police.”
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