PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Fraternal Order of Police president says Philadelphia police will be “boycotting” Di Bruno Bros. after they apologized for giving officers free lunch during protests earlier this week. John McNesby took to social media Thursday after the Philadelphia staple called giving officers stationed in Center City complimentary lunch “insensitive.”
“Rest assured Philly police will be boycotting @DiBrunoBros from here on out. #BackTheBlue,” McNesby tweeted.
— John McNesby (@john_mcnesby) June 4, 2020
On Thursday, McNesby also called Di Bruno Bros.’s decision “an absolute disgrace.”
“They turn around and they pull the plug on everything. They take it out on all the cops in Philadelphia. It’s an absolute disgrace,” McNesby said.
Di Bruno Bros. says they made a hasty decision to offer police officers complimentary lunch at the Chestnut Street location after a night of destruction and looting in the city.
“By now, you may be aware of a situation this past Monday at our Chestnut Street location involving the offer of complimentary lunch to Philadelphia Police Officers,” Di Bruno Bros. said in a statement. “The decision was made in haste after a night of destruction and looting. It was insensitive and we sincerely apologize. The sign was removed, and the policy is revoked.”
The company says, since the controversy over offering police officers a complimentary lunch, they have been challenged to examine the way their actions impact employees and the community.
“We stand in solidarity with the peaceful protesters against racism, injustice and the senseless violence against people of color,” the statement said. “We believe Black Lives Matter and are unequivocally against police brutality.”
Di Bruno Bros. is committed to investing time and resources in order to “learn, understand and reform as a company.”
Since the controversy, they have taken these steps:
- Di Bruno Bros. has made donations to four charities supporting the fight against police brutality and racial injustice: Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity, Black Lives Matter, The Southern Poverty Law Center, NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund
- They are offering racial injustice training for all management level employees across the company before July 15
- The HR department will coordinate a meeting between employees and management “in order to understand, not be understood.”
The company is also planning to develop a program for minority recruitment.
“For 80 years Di Bruno Bros. has been part of the fabric of Philadelphia and a leader in the small business and food community,” Di Bruno Bros. said. “We realize our position comes with great responsibility and what we say and do has meaning. We are committed to using our influence and voice to promote peace, equality, and unity.”
Not too far from Di Bruno Bros. in Center City is restaurant Middle Child, which is giving away signs to protesters — one calling to defund the police.
“I think there’s a systemic issue that’s going on and people are really upset,” Middle Child owner Matt Cahn said.
CBS3’s Matt Petrillo contributed to this report.