Originally published January 10 2013
Stupid Denny's manager demanded cops leave because holstered gun was 'making customer nervous'
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) It's been said that it takes all kinds to make up this world, but we have to ask ourselves what kind of loon does it take to order police officers to leave their weapons in their vehicles while dining?
And yet, that's exactly what happened to several plainclothes detectives who were trying to catch a meal at a local Denny's outside of St. Louis recently.
According to local reports, five detectives of the Belleville, Ill., Police Department who were not in uniform but were wearing their badges - and their firearms - were approached by restaurant manager David Rice, who asked them to either leave or put their guns in their car.
Guns and breakfast don't mix
The lame excuse Rice used was that the guns - and for some reason a gun being carried by a female detective - "was making another diner feel uncomfortable," the local CBS News affiliate, KMOX, reported.
Rather than succumb to such a ridiculous (and, for a police officer, such a dangerous) request, the cops decided to leave without their food.
At that point the officers were approached by General Manager Michael Van, who walked up, corrected the other manager, and told the cops they could stay - and stay armed - if they like. But by then, the officers said, it would be too awkward to remain, so they left.
The incident caused Belleville Police Chief Bill Clay to issue an order to his officers: Get your food from anywhere but Denny's, which he said was guilty of "political stupidness."
The incident has caused Denny's corporate office to issue an apology to the officers, saying the restaurant chain's "policy permits law enforcement officials to carry their firearms in the restaurant" and that the company regretted "any misunderstanding."
In an email to The Huffington Post," a representative from Denny's corporate office explained that the Denny's manager did not initially realize the armed customers were police officers and that the restaurant's policy allows law enforcement officials to carry weapons. The spokesperson said it has reminded all of its restaurants of the policy and sincerely 'apologize[s] for this misunderstanding,'" the news site reported.
Issue resolved, but what was the real motivation?
According to a statement put out by the department following the incident, the matter appears to be resolved:
On January 3, 2013, Mr. Van Catchings, Director of Company Operations for Denny's met with administration staff members of the Police Department. Mr. Catchings requested the meeting to discuss the situation that occurred at the Denny's restaurant in Belleville on January 1, 2013.
Mr. Catchings was sincerely apologetic for the actions taken by Restaurant Management. Mr. Catchings conveyed these actions were inconsistent with Denny's corporate policy which welcomes any law enforcement officer to carry their weapon while inside their restaurants.
Mayor Eckert and Chief Clay are appreciative of Denny's timely request to meet with police department staff to resolve this matter. They are both pleased and are satisfied with Denny's response.
The department said Clay's order banning his officers from eating at Denny's has since been lifted.
Whether it was a simple case of erroneous behavior or whether the Rice has some sort of weird anti-cop/anti-gun agenda, his decision to put a patron's unreasonable and questionable concerns over the safety of the officers is completely out of line.
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