RALEIGH After a much publicized encounter between employees at a Smithfield’s Chicken’N Bar-B-Q, the Raleigh Police Department released a statement Wednesday saying that the story had become overblown in social media through “misinformation and misunderstanding.” Raleigh police and the leadership from Smithfield’s met on Wednesday regarding the incident. Chief Deck-Brown of the Raleigh Police Department released the following statement after the meeting: “From the beginning, when I first learned about this situation, I committed that our team would work together fully with the owner of this restaurant, to better understand the matter and to find a way forward. I’m happy to report that we have collaborated in a very positive way, and together we have established that there has been a lot of misinformation spread about this incident. And, today, I’m glad to have the opportunity to update the public on what we’ve learned.Despite media reports, two officers witnessed one employee make eye contact with them and mouth the words “F… the Police.” There was no singing. There were no other employees involved. Because of the subtle nature of this act, it was not witnessed by anyone else in the store.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 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. The first step in creating understanding between two parties is to come together to communicate. I’m proud to say, we’ve done exactly that.We need to grow collectively in both organizations beyond this and the Raleigh Police Department remains committed to doing just that.”Rumors about the encounter spread after a member of the Raleigh Police Protective Association posted on the group’s Facebook account that employees had sung profanities to the officers. The story went viral, spreading though social media and police organizations across the country.
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