A Kansas City police officer took to Facebook after he says he was denied service at Olive Garden because he had a gun.
Officer Michael Holsworth was on duty when he met up with his family for a birthday lunch at Olive Garden on Oct. 10, KCTV 5 reported.
As he waited for his family to arrive, Holsworth said an employee approached him and said, “We don’t allow guns here.” Holsworth, who was in full uniform, said he could leave. The employee then allegedly responded, “Yes, please leave.”
Holsworth wrote about his experience on Facebook and his post was shared more than 9,000 times. He issued a statement through the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 99, saying he hopes the restaurant “handles this situation appropriately so no other officer has the same experience” he had.
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The order’s president, Brad Lemon, and Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte quickly jumped to Holsworth’s defense. Forte tweeted at Olive Garden’s national Twitter account, saying facts were “being gathered.”
Lemon wrote on Facebook:
“It's been an incredibly difficult day for our brother, and our entire family. All we ever ask is to be treated fairly and with the same respect to due anyone else. When we are treated poorly because of our chosen occupation, it hurts. It's not okay to treat law enforcement poorly. We deserve, and have earned, the same level of respect due to each and every member of society.”
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The restaurant's president has since contacted Holsworth to apologize.
“Law enforcement are always welcome to dine (with) us — we heart serving them and have great relationships,” an Olive Garden spokesman said.