An employee at a T-Mobile store in Grants Pass, Oregon, reportedly refused service to an armed, on-duty Oregon police officer because of his weapon, according to a Monday report by Blue Lives Matter.
What are the details?
The incident reportedly took place at a Grants Pass T-Mobile store on Monday when a plainclothes, on-duty police officer arrived at the store to purchase two new iPhones.
Grants Pass Police Detective Ryan Brown visited the store around 11 a.m., with both his badge and service weapon in plain view.
Grants Pass Police Community Service Officer Jennifer Brown, the detective’s wife, told the outlet that her husband encountered a most unhelpful employee at the store.
The detective was reportedly discussing his purchase options with an employee, when a second employee came out of the back and requested that the detective disarm.
“[My husband] advised them he was a police officer, and they stated that they have a no-gun policy in their store,” Jennifer said.
She added that the employee suggested that her on-duty husband return to his car and leave his service weapon there.
Ryan, who has been with the Grants Pass Police Department for over 20 years, told the employee that he would not remove his weapon, as he is on duty and wearing a badge.
When Ryan refused to disarm, the employee insisted that the officer leave the store, according to Jennifer.
“I was appalled, but my heart also broke a little bit for him,” Jennifer said. “Someone that has given so much to this community for so long — it felt like a slap in the face. Almost as if they were giving him the middle finger instead of saying ‘thank you’ for protecting us.”
What did the officer do?
Ryan left the store, and opened a new family mobile account at U.S. Cellular. His wife said that he called T-Mobile to cancel the plan, and issued a complaint with the company for the way he was treated.
“[T]his is the first time we have ever experienced this,” Jennifer told the outlet. “Especially in our community, we are greeted with open arms. People like to see us in their businesses and their places of employment. The way he was treated is certainly not the norm.”
What else did the detective’s wife say?
Jennifer said that she won’t stop until everyone in their community knows how T-Mobile treated her husband.
“Our colleagues, friends, and family will be made fully aware of this, and will take their business elsewhere,” Jennifer said. “There are many other companies in this town that respect and are thankful for those in this profession. We will make certain that they’re the ones who get our business from now on.”
Blue Lives Matter contacted the Oregon store for comment, but a manager refused to speak about the alleged incident, and pointed the outlet to T-Mobile’s corporate headquarters.
T-Mobile’s corporate office has yet to issue a statement on the alleged incident.