Sergeant Paul Parizek serves as a member of the Des Moines Police Department. Although he has experienced a lot during his years with the force, a recent interaction at a Dunkin’ Donuts location left him reeling with grief. While seeking out some fresh donuts and a hot cup of coffee one Saturday morning, Parizek walked into the Iowa establishment and was shocked when an employee at the coffee shop could him, “we’re not going to serve you today.”

Parizek was not in uniform when he went into the Dunkin’. Instead, he was wearing street clothes and a Thin Blue Line hat, which has become a controversial symbol in recent years. Although he had been a regular customer at the Dunkin’ location for years and was known to be a cop, it was the Thin Blue Line hat the sent employees over the edge.

He approached the counter and was ignored. Then, an employee told him that he would not be served because of the hat.

Parizek immediately told on the employees by reaching out to Dunkin’ Donuts management. He complained about how he was unable to purchase products for other people, including his wife. He said that he never drinks Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.

“No one can guarantee me they haven’t been doing something to those products these last four months,” he said in the interview with his wife Heather Burnside, who is a co-host of the KXNO’s Morning Rush radio show.

After issuing his complaint, Dunkin’ confirmed that this was not some store policy but an isolated incident involving two employees. They confirmed that being turned away had nothing to do with the managers at the location or the coffee shop’s view of police officers.

Parizek claimed he didn’t want to publicize the event but went on a talk radio show to speak about it anyway. He claims he didn’t want anyone losing their job over the incident but was eager to get an explanation for why he was turned away despite being a loyal customer for years.

Dunkin’ Donuts released a statement addressing the incident: “We are aware of the incident that took place at the Dunkin’ restaurant, located at 1220 E 14th Street in Des Moines, IA. The employee’s behavior is not consistent with Dunkin’s goal of creating an inclusive, welcoming environment for all our guests. Additionally, Dunkin’ respects the efforts of our police force as they work to maintain a safe community for all of us. The franchise owner, who independently owns and operates this restaurant, informs us that the two individuals responsible have been terminated. The franchise owner has also connected with the police officer to apologize for the experience.”

Despite the statement, Parizek is done with that Dunkin’ location.

“As recently as Tuesday, one of the young ladies in there took cash money out of my hands to go into her pocket, and then Saturday decides, ‘Well, you’re a racist cop, and we’re not going to serve you.’” he said in the interview, “Not cool.”

What do you think about this police officer being turned away for the Thin Blue Line hat?