Chipotle Apologizes for Employee’s’ ‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’ Protest Against NYPD

“We work very hard to ensure that every customer in our restaurants feels welcome and is treated with respect,” co-CEO’s Steve Ells and Monty Moran say in statement

Last Updated: December 31, 2014 @ 6:28 AM

The leaders of the popular mexican fast-food chain Chipotle apologized this week for a Brooklyn-employee’s protest against New York Police officers who came into the restaurant.

On December 16th, nine NYPD officers entered Chipotle to be greeted by an employee motioning the “hands up, don’t shoot” gesture that has become infamous after the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

“We work very hard to ensure that every customer in our restaurants feels welcome and is treated with respect,” co-CEO’s Steve Ells and Monty Moran said in a statement. “Clearly, the actions of this crew member undermined that effort.”

The restaurant’s CEO’s disputed a report that the officers were refused service, adding that the NYPD diss was the act of a single employee and not a mass protest.

“We have conducted a review of the incident including interviews with the crew and a review of video footage from security cameras,” they wrote. “Our investigation has shown that this appears to have been a spontaneous, unplanned action taken by an individual crew member and was not a coordinated effort by the staff of the restaurant.”

The employee’s protest against the police generated outrage among police supporters and right-wing activist groups, who all called for a boycott of the restaurant.

The restaurant’s owners did not reveal whether any action was taken against the offending employee.