SEATTLE, WA – In an update to a previous report we shared here on Law Enforcement Today, a Seattle-based chocolate shop has reportedly terminated the employee that had allegedly refused to serve a Seattle Police officer back in late April.
A chocolate shop is doing major damage control after a rogue employee decided to discriminate against the police.https://t.co/4355CwtNyz
— LawEnforcementToday (@LawEnforceToday) May 1, 2021
On April 27th, a Seattle Police officer and a trainee had reportedly gone inside of the Chocolati location on North 45th St, with the officer looking to purchase some chocolate.
As we had previously reported, the officer that tried to purchase some chocolate at the location did not exactly get the exemplary standard of customer service.
Reportedly, a rogue employee at the location had decided to refuse to serve the police officer solely based on the fact that they were a police officer.
To the credit of Chocolati, the company had managed to address this matter relatively quickly after reports began to circulate regarding the alleged incident.
In a statement released on the company’s Facebook page, it was noted that “Chocolati welcomes all members of our community,” and that the company wanted to highlight that “discrimination is not a practice that we believe will heal the divide within our city.”
But there was still a looming question for those justifiably incensed over the alleged incident involving this rogue employee’s demeanor and refusal of service toward an officer simply trying to buy some chocolate: what was to come of this employee?
Well, a Facebook post dated April 30th from the company’s official Facebook page and signed by the owner of the business, Christian Wong, revealed that this employee is no longer with the company.
Here is the owner’s complete statement regarding the dismissal of the employee involved in the incident:
“Dear Friends & Neighbors,
I’m a Seattle native, born and raised, and I love our city. For so many of us, this has been a rough year. To put it mildly, being a small business owner during this pandemic has been challenging.
Like so many small businesses across Seattle and our country, we have struggled to keep our employees and to keep our doors open.
Through this difficult year, we have worked to stay true to our values: That we treat everyone with compassion and empathy, and that we do not discriminate against customers based on our personal beliefs.
So I was shocked and disappointed to learn that one of our employees had refused to serve a Seattle Police Department officer at one of our cafes.
We work to advance diversity and inclusion at our business, and for our team members to follow their passions and to be engaged in the critical issues we face as a city, and a nation.
However, our team members cannot decide which customers to serve based on their own personal political beliefs. This simply is not an acceptable practice at our business.
That is why as soon as I learned of this incident, we worked to understand the facts of what took place, and we spoke directly with the team member involved.
We also spoke with the Sergeant of our local SPD precinct. After fully understanding the facts of this incident, we came to the mutual conclusion that it was in the best interest of both parties to part ways with the team member involved in this incident.
We also continue to communicate with our employees about our values and how we serve our customers to ensure an incident like this does not happen again. We will do better.
I look forward to meeting on Sunday with the SPD officer involved in this incident to personally apologize – just as I would apologize to any customer who was refused service on the basis of an employee’s personal views.
Our hope is that this unfortunate incident can serve to help show that communication, empathy and education are the ways we can find common ground as a community in this city we all love.
Finally, I want to thank all our customers and neighbors who have come out to show their support for our small business.
Owner of Chocolati”
*Authors note: Sometimes companies hire some bad apples, but Chocolati stepped up and did the right thing in this matter.
Perhaps this would serve as a good opportunity to show some support back for the business doing the right thing. Chocolati seems to have a nice looking collection of goodies online, and Mother’s Day is right around the corner (as though anyone ever needed an excuse to buy chocolate).
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Here’s our original report regarding the Chocolati debacle.
SEATTLE, WA – The management team of a Seattle-based chocolate shop are working to train their employees to create a “more inviting community,” after two police officers were allegedly denied service at the shop earlier in April solely due to them being police officers.
Management of a Seattle chocolate shop are working with employees to create a "more inviting community" after two police officers were allegedly denied service. https://t.co/jpQMF1O1X4
— Q13 FOX Seattle (@Q13FOX) April 30, 2021
The news of this alleged denial of service was first reported on by The Post Millennial, where the report proclaimed that a Seattle Police officer and a trainee had entered the Chocolati location on North 45th St on April 27th at approximately 4:30 p.m. to guy purchase a box of chocolates.
Seattle Police Department sources informed The Post Millennial that after an employee that was describe as “a white female with green streaks in her hair” had finished serving the customer in front of the officer, she allegedly ignored the officer.
Reportedly this officer then got the employee’s attention and asked to purchase a box of chocolates, to which this employee allegedly responded with:
“No, I won’t serve you.”
The officer and the trainee were said to have just simply left the location thereafter.
Apparently, The Post Millennial reached out to the Chocolati location where this allegedly happened and spoke with an employee to detail the purpose of the call. According to The Post Millennial, after the employee learned about why they were being contacted, the employee reportedly stated on the phone:
“Is this how you want to spend your time? Getting essential workers in trouble?… Shouldn’t you be spending your time harassing homeless people?”
"No, I won’t serve you."
Seattle police officers were allegedly refused service at@ChocolatiCafe on North 45th street. When @TPostMillennial called the cafe for comment, the staff worker cursed & said, "Go f— yourself." https://t.co/ViAdRZPbti
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) April 28, 2021
Reportedly, The Post Millennial representative that had reached out for comment then asked if there was a phone number to reach the owner or management of the establishment.
This employee of the cafe then allegedly replied with:
“You really want to spend your time getting essential workers in trouble?”
The employee also allegedly ended the conversation with “and go fuck yourself.”
Following the news of this alleged denial of service toward two officers at the Chocolati location, the company released a statement addressing the matter:
“As a local small business, Chocolati welcomes all members of our community.
“We have recently become aware of an incident that occurred with a team member and an officer of the Seattle Police Department who was refused service. Although we do respect this team member’s freedom of speech, the actions in this instance do not represent our views as a company.
“We are actively working directly with this team member and the local precinct to create a more inviting, inclusive and cohesive community for all.
“Discrimination is not a practice that we believe will heal the divide within our city, and we are committed to being a safe and welcoming place for every one of our neighbors.”
Seattle Police Officers Guild Mike Solan noted that he’s appreciative that the company has addressed the matter and are open to discussions with the local police union:
“At least we’re coming to the table for a conversation. Which to me is a marketable improvement on what the officers experienced about three days ago.
“So that’s all we can ask for…we need more communication in our community, in particular, with people that have some type of discrimination toward law enforcement.”
It is unclear whether or not the location where this incident reportedly occurred has relieved the employee involved in the matter.
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