An employee at a California pizza restaurant was fired after writing a hateful message on a police officer's receipt.
The anonymous worker was fired on Sept. 18 from the Pieology restaurant in Torrance, reports KTLA.
The incident happened on Sept. 14. After receiving the bill for his lunch, the officer noticed the words "F*** The Cops" typed into the computer-generated receipt.
"He was very empathetic, wanted to take the person aside and ask them why they felt so harshly against law enforcement," Sgt. Ronald Harris said of the officer, who was identified only as a department veteran. "He wanted to talk to this person about it."
But the officer decided not to mention it, Harris said.
However, on Sept. 18, he told his fellow officers what happened, and one officer's wife posted a photo of the receipt to Facebook.
Within a few hours, the post had been shared more than 5,300 times and had generated more than 1,500 comments.
In a statement posted to social media, the restaurant said: "The actions of this individual do not in any way reflect that of Pieology."
In response, Sgt. Harris said the police department "really wants to understand why the person did that and understand if there's something deeper, or why this person has ill will toward law enforcement," as quoted by the Los Angeles Times. "We really want to build bridges. Perhaps we can try to help, or try to assist her. That's our take on it."
It is not the first time that there has been friction between restaurant employees and police officers.
In April, the Smithfields Chicken & Barbeque restaurant in Raleigh, North Carolina, issued a public apology to police after an officer claimed employees sang a famous anti-police rap song while he was eating with his colleagues, as reported by the Daily Mail.
Speaking of the incident at the restaurant, Raleigh Police Protective Association President Matthew Cooper said: "This is something that, unfortunately, officers have to deal with now on a regular basis."
The song in question was recorded and released by N.W.A. in 1989, and later became what Billboard magazine called "the unofficial motto" of the riots following the 1992 acquittal of four LAPD police officers who were video taped beating Rodney King.
In July 2016, a McDonald's employee in O'Hara Township, Pennsylvania, wrote "#BlackLivesMatter" on a bag containing the order of a police officer, KDKA reported.
Upon noticing the political statement on the bag, the officer returned her order to the restaurant and demanded a refund, which she is reported to have received.
In a statement, the owner of that McDonald's franchise said: "We are looking into this matter and will take all appropriate steps to ensure high standards of customer service. All customers, including local law enforcement officers who protect and serve our communities, are welcome in our restaurant."