NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — Employees of Allie’s Donuts have received threats since the popular Rhode Island doughnut shop stopped offering discounts for police officers and military personnel, the shop owner said in an Instagram video.
“Due to all of the unfortunate threats that we have gotten, and just the climate that it is, a lot of my employees don’t feel safe working here now,” owner Matt Drescher said in a video posted on Instagram on Tuesday.
Drescher said the employees are safe, he respects their decisions to stay home, and they haven’t lost their jobs.
“But now I am the only one cutting doughnuts,” he said. "So I am here right now. I’ve got mixes on the table, I will make as many as I can because we do have a lot of supporters. If you are driving by, shoot a couple of beeps at me. I will see if I can wave. Love you all.”
Over the weekend, Allie’s announced that it was suspending the discounts because it was “fed up” with police injustice.
Allie’s made the announcement after a Black Providence firefighter went public with allegations that he was racially profiled by police. The Providence Fraternal Order of Police denied the allegations, saying a witness told the police they believed the car the firefighter was in contained armed suspects in a break-in.
“Until local police takes action to solve problems with racism and injustice, Allie’s Donuts will choose to stand with the people of our great state," Allie’s posted. "We will no longer offer military or police discounts. Thank you for your service, and shame on you for your silence.”
North Kingstown police called the move “divisive.”
“Let’s start talking about how to lift UP our community and not tear it down — police themselves aren’t the problem — racism is the problem,” police posted on Facebook.
Edward Fitzpatrick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org