Local News

Restaurant workers accused of singing derogatory song to Raleigh police officers

Posted April 30
Updated May 4

— 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.


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  • Kim Stew May 3, 5:50 p.m.
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    Carrying a gun, wearing a badge and driving around in a Dodge Charger does not automatically warrant respect. Respect a 300 pound black man with no weapon the next time you stop one, then you will gain my respect. Meantime, shut up!

  • Henry Cooper May 3, 12:17 p.m.
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  • Orion Sune May 1, 5:17 p.m.
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    This is crazy, I have had nothing but good experiences with Raleigh PD. They are the most professional and considerate I have ever dealt with and I have been in many areas and interacted with a diverse set of police depts. I guess if one is always on the wrong side of the law one could feel animosity towards the police but that isn't the officers fault, that's ones own fault.

  • Derril Salter May 1, 3:29 p.m.
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    I love Smithfield's and I know this is not who they are. A handful of bad employees can ruin a business.

  • Jewel Lee May 1, 12:46 p.m.
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    Had they been singing "Flunck the hippos" At overweight customers, they should have been fired. Had they been singing "Flunk the Baboons" at black customers they should have been fired. Had they been singing "Flunck the krackers" at white customers, they should have been fired. Had they been singing "Flunck the Trash Man" at the city trash workers, they should have been fired. Had they been singing "Flunck the Mailman" at the mailman, the same.. It is about respect and courtesy to customers. Any employee who belittles and disrespects the customers does NOT deserve to work there period. And if each person who opened their mouth to utter the words "Flunck the ....customer" is not terminated, then this business deserves to be shut down so that the employees as well as the owners lose their incomes.

  • Rhonda Arthur May 1, 11:07 a.m.
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    View quoted thread

    The full story? I believe you already have it

  • Henry Cooper May 1, 9:38 a.m.
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    I think what was going on (if true) was a protest against police exactly for what you are calling out the employees for not doing. There is a segment of society that feels the police are not serving them regardless of race or gender and there is evidence to support these feelings.

    Neither side is right or perfect just like neither the left or right are perfect. The shame.... it will not be until we treat issues like that and stop going all in on one side or the other will we really get anything done.

  • Carol Smiley May 1, 9:25 a.m.
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    I have to agree with Danita and Henry. I do not understand why nor do I like when people make judgements based on a "news" story. Nobody knows the truth except those that were actually there.

  • Nancy Oberman May 1, 9:09 a.m.
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    Lots of people I have a lousy opinion of, but at my job, my opinion doesnt mean jack, ESPECIALLY if I am getting paid to SERVE the public (ALL of them)... if they, in fact, did this, then they should be fired, period. Today, the police, tomorrow a particular race, or gender...what's the difference? Not the time, nor the place......

  • NC Tom May 1, 9:05 a.m.
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    . Going to anyway most likely