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Police officers in Manassas, Virginia, captured some media attention over the past few days after reportedly being refused restaurant service -- because they were armed. The eight cops were on-duty, but were said to be in plain clothes.
According to media reports, when they were approached by a server at Buffalo Wild Wings who saw their guns on display, the worker purportedly told the officers that the establishment was a gun-free zone.
Despite having their badges out, WWBT-TV reports that the server still would not take their orders.
Daryl LaClair, a local, was so outraged by the incident that the resident wrote a letter to the restaurant chain and started what Patch calls a public awareness campaign. As a result General Manager Scott Lupton apparently wrote back to LaClair, calling the entire situation a "huge misunderstanding."
"There is no reason why those officers should have been asked to leave … police officers are always welcome in my establishment and even though we do have a no gun policy, as a company that excludes off duty police officer," a portion of Lupton's e-mail response read. "As a company we are community oriented. We appreciate everything that police officers do for us."
The general manager wasn't there at the time of the incident.
"For this to have happened at all is just absurd," the resident told Patch in an e-mail last week.
What's interesting to note is that WWBT claims the officers were on-duty at the time, but Lupton's e-mail doesn't say that there's a provision for on-duty police (only off-duty, as noted in his e-mail). Still, the general manager is looking to apologize and is hoping he can speak directly with the eight officers involved.
This situation mirrors another incident that unfolded earlier this year when officers at a Denny's Restaurant in Illinois faced similar backlash for bringing guns inside the establishment.
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