‘I ain't serving no police’: Officer claims a McDonald’s employee denied him service

By Greg Hadley

FILE - In this Dec. 20, 2010, file photo, McDonald's signs sprout from the restaurant's parking lot in New York.
FILE - In this Dec. 20, 2010, file photo, McDonald's signs sprout from the restaurant's parking lot in New York. AP

A McDonald’s restaurant in Henrico County, Virginia, is taking pointed criticism after an officer for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries said one of the fast food chain’s employees refused to serve him because of his job.

According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the officer, identified as Scott Naff, says he was denied service July 13 when he was on duty at 7 p.m. and pulled into the McDonald’s drive-thru. Naff’s wife Cathy, who wrote about the incident in a Facebook post, says her husband ordered and later pulled up to another window and paid, but before he received his food, an employee told him, “I ain’t serving no police,” and closed the window.

According to WVTR, Naff’s wife later said the person told his manager he would not serve a police officer, and another employee later served her husband.

The franchise owner, Freda Thornton, told WVTR that “appropriate action” had been taken, but she declined to specify what that action was. According to a Facebook post by Naff’s wife, they were told the employee had been fired.

“This situation is about how a law enforcement officer was treated by an employee of a local establishment who should have been trained by their employer and properly supervised on how to treat their customers,” Cathy Naff told the Times-Dispatch. “My husband is one of the great guys and would have never treated this young man disrespectfully.”

This is hardly the first instance of employees denying police officers service. The San Diego Union-Tribune noted eight separate cases of police officers being refused service across multiple states last year, and the Washington Post reports that a similar incident took place in Virginia almost exactly a year ago.

In 2016, Gallup reported that 56 percent of Americans had a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the police, an improvement from the survey’s record low of 52 percent in 2015. However, sharp differences remain between minorities and whites when it comes to confidence in police: Gallup reports that just 39 percent of nonwhite respondents rated their confidence in police highly, while 62 percent of white respondents did.