Restaurant workers accused of singing derogatory song to Raleigh police officers
Posted April 30
Updated May 4
Garner, N.C. — A post on social media about derogatory messages against police at a local restaurant has led the business to take action.
The controversy began Friday night, after a post on Facebook claimed people at the Smithfield’s Chicken and Barbecue restaurant on Jones Sausage Road sang the NWA song “F- the Police” to Raleigh police officers who were eating at the restaurant.
The restaurant’s owner, David Harris, responded on Facebook, saying the company respects law enforcement and is looking into the matter. On Monday, it was announced that Harris had hired Mark O'Mara, who is best known for representing George Zimmerman, to represent him. Zimmerman was found not guilty in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
O'Mara said the incident has been devastating for Harris.
"To see something like that turn into the viral, and vicious on occasion, Facebook response and social media response is disheartening," O'Mara said.
The situation escalated on Facebook and the Raleigh Police Protective Association posted about the incident, catching the attention of more than 330,000 people. Harris posted a public apology.
The posts goes on to say the business would terminate any employee that doesn’t share the company’s respect of all law enforcement.
"There’s been a lot of social media activity about this situation, some of it vicious, inaccurate, and incomplete, and it has resulted in misinformation. The goal here is to make sure we all know the truth and to ensure we continue the strong relationship the restaurant has with the Raleigh Police Department, its officers, and all those that protect and serve," O'Mara said in a statement.
The Raleigh Police Protective Association has shared the post, thanking Harris for his quick and heartfelt response.
"We absolutely accept the apology and appreciate that apology, and we appreciate that he apologized so quickly and we just hope that he continues to investigate this incident and take appropriate action on the employees that were involved in this," said Rick Armstrong with the Raleigh Police Protective Association.
The Raleigh Police Department released a statement on its Facebook page, saying it is working collaboratively with representatives from Smithfield’s to resolve the issue.