Hoping to propose to his sweetheart over the weekend, a deputy sheriff got a message that the engagement ring was ready for pick-up at Kay Jewelers. However, when the lawman showed up on his lunch break, the manager refused to help the uniformed officer — which was a big mistake.
Kay Jewelers in Statesville, North Carolina where the deputy with the Iredell Sheriff’s Department was denied service (Credit: WBTV/Screenshot)
When a deputy, who worked for the Iredell Sheriff’s Department but wished to remain anonymous, got a message that his engagement ring was ready for pickup, the excited cop wasted no time driving over to Kay Jewelers. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to him, he was in for a rude awakening.
According to WDRB, Sheriff Darren Campbell said the manager met the deputy at the door and told him he couldn’t enter the store while wearing his service weapon. The deputy told the manager that removing the gun would violate department policy. Campbell said the deputy left without the ring and called the encounter “difficult for us to comprehend.”
“He was refused service because he was in uniform,” Sheriff Darren Campbell told reporters. “That causes me great concern. Not just for us but for all law enforcement agencies around.” Campbell explained the reason the department has prohibited deputies from removing their service weapons. “If an emergency happens, here’s what you have to expect from an officer: An officer is going to be armed. That’s tools of the trade,” Campbell declared, emphasizing all cops are prohibited from leaving their weapons behind when on duty.
However, that’s not all Sheriff Campbell had to say. He also took to social media to inform the community of the despicable way a member of law enforcement was treated by a local business. The Facebook post garnered over 10,000 comments and most, if not all, were in support of the deputy. “Oh but let that jewelry store get robbed or something happens and they need 911 assistance… I bet they’ll want those officers to have that gun for their safety then. That’s just crazy,” Deidre Rachel Miller commented on the post.
Another concerned community member also weighed in. “Kay Jewelers you might as well close your store now…The people in this county support our police officers and you would be lucky to get another customer through your door….BIG MISTAKE!!!!!” Tina Whitaker Carter declared. Others shared similar sentiments, such as concerned citizen Gary Miller, who wrote, “Never ever again will I go near Kay’s jewelry. I always welcomed officers in my office when I practiced no matter what they wore. I would think that they would be happy to have the extra security around.”
All that bad press and backlash from the community pressured Kay Jewelers to take action. According to NBC News, “A store manager accused of turning away an Iredell County deputy over his service weapon is ‘no longer with the company,’ Kay Jewelers said a day after being made aware of the incident.” Kay Jewelers initially responded on Facebook, saying they “sincerely apologize for the mishandling of this matter.” However, by the reaction of the community, it appeared that Kay’s corporate managers knew they had to do more than make apologies and fired the offending employee.
With the public so engaged in the deputy’s dilemma, the Iredell Sheriff’s Department decided to share some good news that came out of the entire debacle. “We are beyond excited to report a wedding proposal took place… and even happier to report, she said ‘Yes!’” their Facebook post read. “We extend our deepest congratulations and send best wishes for a very happy future as we welcome this future deputy’s wife into our work family.”
We understand why the deputy preferred to stay anonymous, not wanting the story to be about him but rather about the way so many in law enforcement are mistreated by some civilians. Sadly, their uniform can make them a target of both criminals and misguided civilians who forget that all lawmen take an oath to uphold the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic and to protect and serve the community at all costs, which could result in their own death.