Windsor police officer under review after Arby’s drive-thru incident
Published Monday, June 22, 2020 7:42PM EDT
WINDSOR, ONT. -- A Windsor police officer is the subject of an internal review by the service after making a false claim online concerning a local Arby’s restaurant and suggesting he may not respond to a call for help from the establishment.
On Friday, while off duty, Tim Kettlewell posted an image to his personal Facebook page sent to him by the on-duty officer that took the photo and claimed his colleague had been denied service at an Arby’s restaurant by two employees taking a knee – a gesture of protest as seen through the anti-police brutality and Black Lives Matter movement.
“I hope you never need my help,” read the post by Kettlewell.
The image, which was shared more than a thousand times online, pictures two young employees kneeling while a third person is obscured by the borders of a drive-thru window.
According to both Arby’s Canada and the WPS, the officer was never denied his food or refused service.
“We can confirm that the officer’s meal was prepared and delivered, and when the manager was handing the officer his food, two employees decided to take a knee,” reads a statement from an Arby’s spokesperson.
Upon seeing the two employees take a knee, the officer cancelled his order and received a refund.
In a news release issued on Monday, the WPS noted the off-duty officer’s post was not condoned by the service.
"The Windsor Police Service did not authorize, nor do we support the message posted by the off-duty officer,” reads the statement. “We want to re-assure the community that the safety of everyone is paramount and our officers will always respond to all calls for service.”
The social media post generated hundreds of angry comments directed at the employees and the fast-food restaurant itself.
“Those two employees had best be looking for new employment,” said one commenter.
Another commenter seemed to repeat the implied threat from Kettlewell – “Next time Arby’s puts a call in for an officer to attend, ignore it!”
In its news release, the WPS says it “regrets” the inaccurate post by the off-duty officer and has reached out to the impacted parties, including the two young employees, to continue a conversation.
“What happened between the on-duty officer and the employees of the Arby’s compels constructive discourse rather than animosity,” reads the WPS statement.
The WPS adds it supports recent anti-racism and anti-discrimination movements which have spawned local protests, of which the service was represented including Chief Pam Mizuno.