ALEXANDRIA, La. (WCMH) – Kroger employees in two different states are accused of refusing service to a police officer and the wife of a police officer.
Pineville, Louisiana, Police Department Pfc. Sabrina Farace told Blue Lives Matter that she encountered trouble while grocery shopping with her daughter at an Alexandria, Louisiana Kroger store.
According to Farace’s account of the incident, she was wearing a police shirt while shopping. She said the cashier asked her if she was a cop, to which she responded yes.
The cashier then said she had to get her supervisor, according to Farace.
I stated, “OK” because I did not know what her reason was for stating that she could not continue to check me out. I assumed maybe it was time for her to get off or some other reason. When she came back to the counter she stated, “My supervisor is tied up right now.” I asked, “What’s the deal?” She replied, “I can not check you out because you are police officer and I can’t check you out because you are a cop and I have issues with the police right now.” At which I replied, “You have to be kidding me right?” She stated “No, I am not.” I then stated “If this is the case I would like to speak to your supervisor myself because this is unacceptable to treat a customer this way.”
She then walked off and shortly later she came back with a white male that I assumed was her supervisor. I told him that the employee (AJ written on her name tag) had refused to check me out because after she asked me if I was on the force, and when I told her I was a cop, she refused to check me out. He looked at her and said “You have to check out all customers.”
I began to tell him I didn’t appreciate being asked what I do for a living period no matter what kind of shirt I was wearing, because it is not her business. I told him that this kind of behavior is unacceptable for any customer to be treated in this manner. I asked him if he would continue to allow her to treat customers like that as she stood there smirking as if nothing would be done. I said, if you condone this kind of behavior and discrimination I’m sure the media would love to know how you allow employees to treat customers this way for wearing a police supporting shirt and being a police officer.
He replied, well that’s not nice to threaten me to call the media and I guess I’ll just call Cooper. I told him that he could call whoever he wanted because I did not work for Cooper. He began telling me that she explained to him that she had problems with the police. I stated to him that apparently I would not be the only person wearing a shirt supporting police or a police officer that came into the store. I stated that she was an embarrassment to the store treat people that way. I also told him that he, as a manager, should be embarrassed for the poor job at making not making an attempt to correct the situation that he, himself, was an embarrassment to Kroger’s. I told him that I refused to come back to the store and left my groceries where they laid after she stated she could not check me out. I then left, and will refuse to ever shop at the store from this point on account of this incident.
I have been a customer there for more than 15 years but this is unacceptable to be treated that way no matter what your profession may be nor should it be acceptable to be asked what you do based on their opinions of that profession.
After Blue Lives Matter shared Farace’s account of the situation, Kroger responded on Facebook, saying:
For those of you posting about the incident in Alexandria, Louisiana please know we are disappointed and sorry to hear that this happened. We want our customers, associates and the law enforcement community to know how deeply we appreciate and honor our police officers and the other first responders who put their lives on the line to keep us safe every day. We’ve taken steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
Kroger did not specify what those steps were.
Monday night, the Pineville Police Department responded to the incident, saying they believe the refusal of service was personal in nature and that the Kroger store in question has historically supported law enforcement.
In a second reported incident, the wife of a Texas police officer said a teenage cashier at a Spring, Texas store refused to serve her after seeing her ‘Blue Lives Matter’ t-shirt, KTRK reported.
“She was stating that the shirt I had on was basically a slap in the face to her and she was doing everything she could not to cry,” the woman told KTRK.
A Kroger representative told the station that they cannot comment on the matter as it is still being looked into.