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Cellphone store employee fired after refusing service to police officer

An independent Verizon cellphone store in Waltham, Massachusetts, has fired an employee for allegedly refusing service to a police officer. (Don Emmert / Staff)

An employee at an independently owned Verizon store landed in the unemployment line after refusing service to an on-duty, uniformed Waltham, Massachusetts, police officer, WBZ-TV reported.

The incident reportedly occurred Tuesday when Officer Dan Collins went into the store on Tower Road.

What was said? Who apologized?

The store, which is independently owned and operated by Cellular Sales, reached out to Collins and apologized, Waltham Police Sgt. Timothy King told WBZ. Collins said through a statement that said he was satisfied by the company’s response.

King later said in a statement:

The Waltham Police Department has been made aware of an incident involving one of our officers where an employee of an independently owned wireless retailer refused service to the officer. The company has reached out to the individual officer and apologized. The officer has relayed to the department that he is satisfied with the company's response to this situation. As the matter has been resolved by the officer and the company, there will be no further comment at this time.

In a statement, a Cellular Sales told the TV station:

Cellular Sales, an independently owned authorized Verizon Wireless retailer, became aware of an incident at one of our Boston area retail locations in which apparently one of our sales representatives failed to provide service to multiple customers, including a uniformed police officer. Cellular Sales is committed to providing excellent service to all of our customers, and as a result of this incident, the sales representative has been terminated.

Verizon added its own statement:

Providing excellent service to a first responder is a privilege. We expect all of our partners to uphold our values and business practices. We are investigating this reported incident involving an employee of an independent authorized retailer.

Has this happened elsewhere?

It’s not the first time something like this has happened.

Officer Frank Garmback was refused service last month at a Dunkin Donuts near Cleveland. The employee who refused to serve the officer at the doughnut shop was also fired.

In February, cafe owners in Oakland, California, indicated they would not be serving police officers and would be asking them to leave. The owners stated in an Instagram post that having police present causes their physical and emotional safety to feel threatened.

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