Some restaurants will encourage officers to show up in uniform by offering them free food. Having police around, they feel, keeps the riffraff away. Yet some people, like the young man in this story, genuinely respect what officers do, and show their respect with simple acts of kindness. And then they have to answer for their actions.
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Zachary Randolph, 18, was suspended from his job at Great American Cookies in a Texas mall when he bought a police officer a brownie.
The incident may have escaped scrutiny, except another customer complained that the cop was getting special treatment. The customer in question was so outraged that Randolph would pay for a brownie for the officer that he threatened to beat the teenager up.
The episode ended peacefully, but the manager of the Great American Cookies store suspended Randolph for a week.
That was before Randolph’s mother, Tami Kurtz Randolph, drew attention to the incident by posting her son’s story on Facebook. “Since when does buying a police officer a cookie give anyone else a reason to attack someone?” She asked.
“And when did a Corporation want to FIRE someone for being KIND, taking what a customer said or did, regardless of how hateful they are.”
Randolph was working in the Katy Mills Mall Great American Cookies location when the officer, who has not been identified, ordered a brownie. His bill came to $2.75.
“He’s just a really nice guy and on top of that he has a badge,” Randolph explained. “That’s enough for me to buy him something. That’s the least I can do.”
“A lot of people I know my age don’t support police officers. I don’t think it’s fair.”
When the family in line behind the officer asked if their order would be paid for, Randolph said no. “They were asking if I was going to buy them a cookie. And I told them both, no. They don’t have a badge. I’m sorry.”
Randolph said the situation then escalated when a middle-aged man become upset and threatened him. “This customer started verbally attacking him, calling my son a racist, and threatened to beat him up. His wife threatened to go back there and slap him,” Randolph’s mother said.
‘The middle aged man sat down his little daughter and tried to come behind the counter to attack him. Thankfully his coworker defused the situation. The man then said ‘I will get you fired.'”
The next day, he was called into a meeting with management. The complaint had upset his managers. Some wanted him fired. Instead, he was to receive a disciplinary report and he was suspended for a week.
That wasn’t enough for many of the people who saw Randolph’s story and felt like he’d done nothing wrong. The pressure from the media was too much for the Great American Cookies’ team, who reversed their decision. The even issued an apology to Randolph.
Biju George, owner of the Katy Mills Mall franchise, said: “On behalf of Great American Cookies Katy Mills, we owe the employee an apology. It was never an issue that he purchased a brownie for a police officer, but rather the events that unfolded with another customer in line at the time. However, after further review, we realize that the employee was in fact in the right and we continue to reach out to him and his mom to issue an apology.”
“The corrective action and suspension was reversed immediately and we hope to connect with him today.”