NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WJAR/CNN) —Cops and donuts are a bit of a cliché.
Up until recently, police in Providence, Rhode Island got a discount on the sweet treats. Then a firefighter accused them of racially profiling him. Now a donut shop is ending the perk.
Military and police discounts will no longer be offered at Allie’s Donuts, according to a statement posted on its Facebook and Instagram pages.
Providence firefighter Terrell Paci claims he was the victim of racial profiling outside of the Messer Street fire station, where he works. Paci said police drew their guns and claimed Paci matched the description of a suspect reportedly seen waving a gun nearby, even though he was in his firefighter uniform.
Allie’s Donuts took to social media to criticize police after Paci’s allegations came to light.
“A note to the officer who profiled the Providence firefighter the other night: That is an example of terrible job performance,” Allie’s wrote in a story on its Instagram page Saturday. “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.”
“We’re fed up. Until local police takes action to solve problems with racism and 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,” the post said.
After the post, people waited in line for bout an hour to support the business, but their decision to drop the discount did not sit well with others.
The North Kingstown Police Department called it distasteful, saying “let’s start talking about how to lift up our community and not tear it down.”
A veteran, Tami Iavarone, started what she calls the Donut Challenge. She handed out 24 dozen donuts from another local shop to police and firestations around Rhode Island.
“Cause immediately I was like make doughnuts. Do something. Use this for a time of unity, not of opposition. So, don’t fight against the cause. Support, support them. Support the police right now,” Iavarone said.
The Providence Fraternal Order of Police denied the allegations that angered the donut shop owners.
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza called the allegations “deeply disturbing” and said the city has opened an investigation into this incident.
On Sunday, Allie’s Donuts addressed their statement on Instagram.
“Reflecting on our method of delivery, we imagine most of you were surprised by our candor. In no way did we mean to insult people and their service to our country. If you felt offended or insulted, please accept our apology.”
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