It’s now becoming more socially acceptable to discriminate against police officers at businesses across the country. When two uniformed Las Vegas police officers walked into The Lodge at Cactus, a bar and grill that is open late, they were eager to order a hot meal, KTNV-TV reports.
However, before they had even found a table, they were greeted with an unexpected interruption. As the pair approached the bar, the establishment’s bartender suddenly looked at the officers and dramatically shook his head “no.” He then motioned his fingers across his neck as if to say “stop.”
Confused, the unidentified officers respectfully asked if they could take their seats at the bar and order some food, to which the bartender replied, “We don’t serve you guys here anymore.” Initially, the officers thought that the man was joking. When they realized that he was being serious, they turned around and quietly headed out the door.
According to KSNV-TV, Officer Aden Ocampo-Gomez confirmed that the incident occurred as reported on social media. However, he added that “the restaurant has the right to refuse service to anyone” and that they would respect the establishment’s decision.
What the officer and his colleagues didn’t expect was how the restaurant’s manager would respond. After being notified of the bartender’s actions, the restaurant “reached out” to the police department regarding the incident.
Not only did the manager sincerely apologize, but they also explained that the bartender was immediately suspended indefinitely as he faced possible termination for his actions.
“After the email went out to our membership, the owner of the corporation reached out to us regarding this issue,” the Las Vegas’ Police Protective Association said in a statement. “They informed us that the bartender in question is on indefinite suspension facing potential termination. The Lodge has the highest respect for the men and women of LVMPD and love nothing more than to have them in their establishments, whether on duty or off. They explained that one man’s actions are not indicative of the feelings of The Lodge Corporation and they hope that officers will still come to the establishments.”
Proving that the situation was remedied, the LVMPD Traffic Bureau tweeted out a photo of several officers striking a friendly pose with a member of the restaurant’s management. They reiterated that the bartender’s actions “do not reflect the beliefs and support” of The Lodge at Cactus.
The police union has since accepted the restaurant’s apology and believes it was an isolated and unforeseeable incident. The officers have since established a good relationship with the business and applauded the management’s handling of the situation.
“It was a great conversation, and clearly the issue has been addressed and handled by ownership,” the union added. “I want to thank all the officers who reached out to the LVPPA regarding this incident. Corporate would love to see officers and their guests come to the establishments this weekend.”
Of course, there is a silver lining to the incident. In light of the anti-law enforcement sentiment at The Lodge at Cactus, two other establishments, Distill and Remedy’s, have temporarily offered free meals to all uniformed officers who order between midnight and 8 a.m.
At a time when police officers are routinely being turned away or abused at eateries, it’s refreshing to see a business take the reigns back from ignorant and hateful employees who harbor such a bias.