RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Raleigh police chief said reports of employees at a local Smithfield’s Chicken and BBQ singing an anti-police song toward officers are false.
Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown said two officers witnessed an employee make eye contact with them and mouth the words “F*** the Police.”
“There was no singing,” Deck-Brown said in a release. “Ultimately, the Raleigh Police Department, Smithfield’s Chicken ‘N Bar-B-Q and our whole community were victims of misinformation and misunderstanding causing the original reporting of the story to be wrong.”
The Raleigh Police Protective Association posted on Facebook claiming officers said they were disrespected while eating at a Smithfield’s Chicken and BBQ on Jones Sausage Road.
That post claimed some Raleigh police officers on break were disrespected when some employees sang the N.W.A song “(Expletive) tha Police.”
The post, which resulted in more than 400,000 views, prompted an investigation by the Police Department and Smithfield’s.
At a Wednesday press conference, Mark O’Mara, attorney for David Harris, franchisee of the Smithfield’s said the employee was about 25 feet from the officers when he mouthed the words to them.
“There was no singing. Multiple employees were not involved. Ultimately, this was, at most, a subtle misunderstanding between one former employee and two police officers,” O’Mara said. “What has been reported and spread through social media is false.”
That employee is no longer with Smithfield’s, O’Mara confirmed.
The Raleigh Police Protective Association has since removed its original post.
“The Raleigh Police Department seeks to serve all members and all elements of the community in fairness and without bias. We expect the same in return and are confident that Smithfield’s Chicken ‘N Bar-B-Q share those same values,” Deck-Brown said.
Smithfield’s released security footage of the time the Raleigh police officers were in the restaurant.