In the wake of Michael Brown’s death, strained relations with police, and the killing of two NYPD officers in their squad car, Chipotle is apologizing after one of their employees used the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” gesture in response to nine NYPD officers who entered the Mexican food chain in Brooklyn.
The incident occurred on Dec. 16 and got the officers so infuriated, they left the store. Early reports indicated that the officers were denied service at the Brooklyn location. Chipotle later clarified that the officers involved were not denied service, and that only one employee threw up his hands.
‘We work very hard to ensure that every customer in our restaurants feels welcome and is treated with respect,’ said co-CEOs Steve Ells and Monty Moran in a statement Monday. ‘Clearly, the actions of this crew member undermined that effort.’
Pro-NYPD groups became enraged with the chain’s decision to allegedly deny the officers service, and the employee’s apparent lack of respect.
‘We have conducted a review of the incident including interviews with the crew and a review of video footage from security cameras,’ read Chipotle’s CEO’s statement, obtained by the New York Daily News.
They continued: ‘Our investigation has shown that this appears to have been a spontaneous, unplanned action taken by an individual crew member and was not a coordinated effort by the staff of the restaurant.’
Ironically, the store in question is the same one accused of giving NYPD officers a “prohibited and unofficial” 50 percent discount in 2012.
According to The New York Times:
‘The crowd at lunch and dinner is peppered with officers: some at tables, more in line and some carrying to-go bags. They are drawn by burritos and tacos, the proximity to Brooklyn’s courthouses and an unadvertised special: a 50 percent discount given to officers in uniform.
‘Many of the police officers who eat there may not have been aware of the discount, the restaurant’s general manager, Gonzalo Romero, said. Some express surprise when their bill comes to half of the advertised price. “When they see it, they go, ‘Thank you very much,’ ” he said.’
Police officers are banned from receiving handouts for their services. The store manager at the Brooklyn Chipotle chain referred to the apparent 50 percent discount as a “courtesy.”