A California pizzeria found itself in a lose-lose situation after a new hire’s “bigoted” interaction with the police forced an immediate response from the owners.
The deluge of corporate media coverage following the death of Tyre Nichols has done little but represent members of law enforcement as a monolith rather than rationally separate the majority of good officers from the bad outliers. When race hustlers like MSNBC’s Joy Reid spend a monologue presenting biased history lessons comparing the modern police to slave catchers, it’s no wonder that a San Francisco pizza shop employee would take it upon himself to turn away hungry cops looking for a slice.
On Sunday, the San Francisco Police Officer’s Association (SFPOA) posted to Twitter that, “Today, a @pizzasquredsf employee told several of our officers that they were not welcome in the restaurant. The SFPOA notified the owners of the restaurant of the shameful and hateful actions of one of their employees. We appreciate the owners’ swift apology, praise for the hard work our officers do, and the owners’ commitment to meeting with the affected officers.”
We appreciate the owner’s swift apology, praise for the hard work our officers do, and the owners' commitment to meeting with the affected officers.https://t.co/Il2L9sEiuE
— San Francisco POA (@SanFranciscoPOA) January 30, 2023
Within a couple of hours, the social media account for Pizza Squared reacted to SFPOA’s post with an update informing the public that the recently hired employee had been even more recently fired for being “out of line.”
“This employee was a trainee & on his third day,” they wrote. “When our shift manager told us about the incident after it happened, we expressly told him we didn’t share his views & that he was out of line. He was fired at the end of the day. When we notified by SFPOA, we apologized.”
This employee was a trainee & on his third day. When our shift manager told us about the incident after it happened, we expressly told him we didn’t share his views & that he was out of line. He was fired at the end of the day. When we notified by SFPOA, we apologized.
— Pizza Squared (@pizzasquaredsf) January 30, 2023
Reactions online were mixed with a number of people not only siding with the fired employee but calling out the officers for complaining about their mistreatment.
Pathetic and gross.
— AmberLee Ar.T. (@FayeElektra) January 31, 2023
Point exactly on the pizza how you were harmed exactly. Your hard work bullying a kid to get your way is a testament to how you are useless, overfunded, wastes.
— @Jennifer Stavros ✍️⚰️ (@Scandalous) January 31, 2023
Just stopped by and tipped Pizza Squared workers $5 for their efforts.
— sf foghorn (@ec0anarch0) January 31, 2023
Why are you tattling on them? They apologized. You’re tattling to try to punish them.
— Drakaylee (@champagnzee) January 31, 2023
However, a spokesperson for the police union expressed to KTVU that the reason the SFPOA released a statement on the incident was that it was already circulating social media and they wanted to praise the business’s “genuine and heartfelt” response.
The outlet also posted a message from Union President Tracy McCray who said, “Our officers were surprised and dismayed by this bigotry.”
“We were pleased to receive an immediate response from the owners, including a sincere apology for their employee’s actions and a commitment to meet with the affected officers and make this unfortunate situation right,” McCray added.
Meanwhile, the many who sided with the police took to Yelp leaving one-star reviews of the pizzeria prior to their notifying the public of the offending employee’s termination.
“Why do you hate cops? What is wrong with you, Who do you think you are? Never doing business with this company,” one wrote as another said they, “would never eat here after reading comments by employee who disparaged sfpd.”
When news of the firing came through, others showed their support for Pizza Squared’s decision with positive messages online.
The owner did the right thing. I absolutely support those men and women in uniform. You guys have a very difficult job.
— spiff (@spifftek) January 31, 2023
I think there should be appropriate action taken with this employee and conversations with all employees. They represent the owner at all times. I appreciate this article because any establishment that doesn’t appreciate officers will not get my money
— Ariel (@Ariel54964541) January 30, 2023
Such a great pizza place with excellent staff. My family frequents the place because it’s near my partner’s work. I feel more kinship than ever.
— ✊ (@cultofJT) January 30, 2023
The owners went on to tell KTVU in an email Tuesday that the “Only comment we have is that none of this is political to us. Any employee of ours who mistreats our customers would get the same outcome. We just want to make good pizza & serve anyone who comes in with a smile.”
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