Kay Jewelers apologized on Wednesday after a North Carolina sheriff’s deputy went to pick up his engagement ring while on meal break and was barred entry because he had his service gun.
The manager of the store in Statesville wouldn’t let the deputy enter even after the deputy explained that it’s against policy for officers to remove their service weapons while in uniform, Iredell County Sheriff Darren Campbell posted on Facebook Wednesday. The deputy also told the manager that his marked patrol car was in the parking lot, according to the sheriff.
Campbell posted that he and his office “are deeply saddened” by what happened to the deputy on Tuesday.
“This policy is in place for not only the safety of the deputy, but the general public as well,” the sheriff said in his post Wednesday afternoon. “The manager stated our deputy would need to return to the store at a different time when he was not armed. The deputy left the store, without the ring he had purchased.”
“The reaction our deputy encountered is very difficult for us to comprehend, and we earnestly hope situations such as these are few and are diminishing,” the sheriff added. “Thank you to the citizens and businesses in our area who whole heartily support the men and women who wear the badge.”
Kay Jewelers soon posted on the sheriff’s office Facebook page that it was “reaching out to the customer and the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office to sincerely apologize for the mishandling of this matter.
“We have tremendous respect for law enforcement, and we thank the Office for bringing this to our attention,” the post continued. “We will be sure to reinforce store training regarding our firearm policy with specific regard to uniformed law enforcement.”
Within a couple of hours, the sheriff’s post received 1,700 likes and 1,200 comments, overwhelmingly in support of the deputy.
“If they were being robbed would they prefer our officers check their weapons at the door,” Selena Redmond Goodin posted.
“These men and women put their lives on the line to protect and serve these very people that turned him away,” wrote Ursula Klinger.
Posted Daphne Marshall: “He needs to get a refund for the ring so he can go somewhere else.”