A Rhode Island donut shop posted a scathing social media message Saturday evening, blasting Providence police after a city firefighter alleged two officers racially profiled him June 3, WPRI-TV reported.
What did the message say?
“A note to the officer who profiled the Providence firefighter the other night: That is an example of terrible job performance,” the Instagram story from Allie’s Donuts said. “If you were an athlete, you’d be cut from your team. If you were our employee, we would fire you immediately. But, you are a police officer. And despite being the ones responsible for protecting the law, you may be considered ‘above it’ & face ZERO consequences for your mistakes.”
Another post from the North Kingstown shop added, “We’re fed up. Until local police takes action to solve problems with racism & injustice, Allie’s Donuts will choose to stand with the people of our great state. We will no longer offer military or police discounts. Thank you for your service, and shame on you for your silence.”
What happened next?
The North Kingstown Police Department called the posts from Allie’s Donuts “divisive.”
“We certainly do not need nor want a discount, however this message of targeting (removed hate) your police and fire departments, your local military, and your veterans is distasteful,” the police department’s post added . “Let’s start talking about how to lift UP our community and not tear it down; police themselves aren’t the problem — racism is the problem.”
In addition, some people said they’re boycotting the business to support law enforcement and military members, WJAR-TV reported.
Image source: YouTube screenshot
Not everyone feels that way, though
But on Sunday morning a long line of customers — some holding “Black Lives Matters” and “End Police Brutality” signs — stretched around Allie’s Donuts and back into the parking lot, WPRI-TV reported.
Singing a different tune
Allie’s owner and operator, Matt Drescher — whose family has run the shop for three generations — seemed to sing a slightly different tune the following day, telling WPRI that “hopefully we will not lose customers over our willingness to speak up. We respect the military for their sacrifice, and their duty. We love every policeman, every fireman, every nurse, every National Guard member, every Naval recruit and officer and all of the men and women in the Air Force, Coast Guard, Army, and armed forces.”
Drescher also took to Instagram and recorded a video reacting to the outpouring of support the shop received — selling out of donuts by 1 p.m. Sunday — and then admitting he erred with his initial social media posts.
Encouraging folks to not give in to the temptation to “insult people” and “make them feel like someone wants to be their enemy,” he said his initial “message didn’t really convey my intention. I just wanted to take away a privilege from people so that we could all be equal.”
Drescher also encouraged people to start a conversation, WJAR-TV reported.
“People in power. People with influence. Let’s discuss how to fix things. Let’s acknowledge that they need to be fixed and not ignore it and not pass blame back and forth and say, ‘What about you and what about me and what about that and why would you ignore this?’ No, something is wrong. Let’s fix it,” Drescher said, according to the station.
As for the racial profiling claim, WPRI said the city is investigating, but the police union vehemently disputes it.
More from WJAR:
Providence firefighter Terrell Paci told NBC 10 News he became the victim of racial profiling while in uniform this week outside of the Messer Street fire station, where he works. He said police drew their guns and claimed Paci matched the description of a suspect reportedly seen waving a gun nearby.
The Providence Fraternal Order of Police denied the allegations Saturday and said a witness told police they believed the car Paci was in contained the suspects.
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza called the allegations “deeply disturbing,” that station added.
Allie’s Donuts opens to long lines and signs in support of decision to end military and police disco