It is a tough time to be a cop in America. Not that there was ever really a time when being a cop was easy. Some people just hate cops. That part has existed as long as there have been police. Still, after the Dallas shooting, the whole nation is edge.
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So when a couple entered a restaurant in Homestead, Pennsylvania and found a group of officers sitting at a table, the couple wanted to be seated as far away form them as possible. This happened Friday night at the Eat ‘n Park.
The employees of the Eat ‘n Park knew the cops–they’re regulars at the joint. The four uniformed officers had ordered and were waiting for their food.
“I heard talk, and I looked over, and there was a couple coming into the restaurant, and they made it clear, they didn’t want to sit near us, and they were quite adamant,” Homestead Police Sgt. John Kaschauer said.
“They looked over and said, ‘We don’t want to sit here,’” said Louann Davis, who was waiting tables at the Eat ‘n Park. “You could tell they were looking at the police, and they moved them to another section.”
This type of behavior isn’t altogether uncommon. You walk into an almost empty restaurant, see a group of cops talking at a nearby table, you may not want to sit right next to them. But the couple made a bit of a scene, and were adamant about being sat elsewhere. And the men at the table could clearly see what was happening.
But rather than take offense, they saw this as an opportunity. They know there’s a tension running through the community.
“I do feel it from people who might be on a traffic stop or passing through the area, little things they say,” said Sgt. Kaschauer.
To ease the tension, and to stand up for themselves, they picked up the couple’s check.
“Just because you don’t like somebody doesn’t mean you can’t be kind to them,” Sgt. Kaschauer said about his decision to pay for their meals.
The police had the waitress carry the receipt to the table with this note: “Sir, your check was paid for by the police officers that you didn’t want to sit next to. Thank you for your support. I left a $10 tip, too.”
“They want to make it known that in our community they are here to be our friends and take care of us, and not our enemies that are out to get you,” Davis said.
“Not all cops are bad,” Sgt. Kaschauer said, “not all people are bad.”