Windsor Police Launch Internal Investigation After Arby's Incident
The Windsor Police Service has launched an internal investigation after an incident involving an officer and employees at the Tecumseh Rd. E. Arby's restaurant.
On Friday, June 19, an on-duty officer ordered food and while waiting at the window saw two kitchen staff kneeling behind the counter in the name of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The officer took a photo, cancelled his order, received a refund and left.
He then sent the photo to an off-duty officer who posted it to his personal social media account stating the on-duty officer was refused service, which turned out to be false.
The off-duty officer also implied he would not respond to the Arby's in question if it was ever in need of help.
According to a police release, the conduct of the off-duty officer is now under internal review.
Windsor mayor Drew Dilkens chairs the police services board and says the young men in the photo are entitled to their beliefs.
"You know, I thought through this and certainly the young men in that picture have a perspective. Clearly there's something that's on thier mind and I'd appreciate hearing what they think we could do better. What could we do to improve the situation that would make them feel comfortable not to have to take a knee? At the same time, I support our police as well and I think they do a great job."
He says he doesn't blame the officer for returning the food.
"If I were the officer driving that car I likely would have handed the bag back as well. I wouldn't feel comfortable eating what's in that bag if that's the perspective of the people who made that food. That would cause me concern as well. So I certainly appreciate the officer's position and I appreciate the young men in there having an opinion."
Dilkens believes something good can come from the situation.
"These types of conversations, it's not wrong to think that there's some good that could come out of this. What are the perspectives of those young men? They took a knee, what are their beliefs? What do they actually believe? What would they like to see made better in the community? How can we have a conversation and include their voices in that conversation to see how we can make the place we love better together?"
The Windsor police release goes on to say the service does not support the message posted by the off-duty officer and officers will respond to all calls for service as community safety is priority one.