Two sheriff's deputies from North Carolina say they were taunted by employees over the weekend and served overly spicy food at a fast food restaurant.
A Facebook post by one deputy's wife has gone viral, after she described how her husband and another Cleveland County sheriff's deputy were mocked and served tainted food Sunday at a Zaxby's franchise in Shelby, reported WBTV-TV.
"I have pretty much kept my mouth shut, publicly, about the status of our country these days...but enough is enough!" the wife posted on social media. "It is tough enough to watch my husband put on his uniform and go out into a world full of hate towards cops, all while I sit home and worry if he will return home safely. But today just put the icing on the cake."
The woman described how the two deputies, who were on duty and wearing their uniforms, were mistreated at the fried chicken restaurant three days after a gunman killed five police officers and wounded five others at a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Dallas.
"As they walked up to place their orders, the boys in the back cooking the food started yelling at them and calling them names," she wrote. "Being the professional deputies that they are, neither of them replied to the rude comments or acknowledged it. Then, as they sat down to eat their food, my husband realized that the boys had put the hottest sauce possible on my his wings -- to the point where his food wasn't even fit to eat."
WBTV spoke to the woman's husband, who asked to remain anonymous, and he confirmed her account of the incident.
Capt. Joel Shores, of the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office, said the mistreatment angered him but did not surprise him.
"Years ago, this profession was respected, it was honored," Shores said. "Now to get ridiculed, to be a target, to possibly get shot at, for little pay. What’s the motivation to be a police officer other than do it because your heart’s in it to help the community?"
“If you’re not ready to be ridiculed, law enforcement is not the job for you -- especially in today’s world," the captain added.
A representative from Zaxby's corporate office said the restaurant is independently owned and operated by a franchisee, who has not commented on the incident.
But the company has launched an internal investigation into the alleged mistreatment -- which has also sparked major backlash on social media.
"Hey Zaxby's, You let crap like this happen in your restaurants???" posted Facebook user Kim Gordon. "The manager and staff should be fired! #AllLivesMatter #Youshouldbeashamed"
"I hope the thug fools who were working last night and treated these law enforcement officers with such disrespect gets FIRED!" posted Facebook user Linda Susan Dellinger. "I will Not ever go near zaxbys after this."
"Fire their disrespectful black asses IMMEDIATELY," posted Facebook user Randy Webb.
Watch this video report posted online by WBTV-TV: