Cafe Society

Chipotle Issues Apology for Employee Hands-Up Gesture Directed at NYPD Officers

Earlier this month, a Chipotle worker made a raised-hands gesture when nine New York Police Department officers entered a Brooklyn location of the national burrito chain for dinner. The officers immediately left the building and the incident has since sparked a boycott of the store by local police from the 84th Precinct. On Monday, Chipotle co-CEOs Steve Ells and Monty Moran issued a statement and apology after what the company describes as "a review of the incident including interviews with the crew and a review of video footage from security cameras."

See also: Photos: #HandsUpWalkOut Rallies at CU Boulder, CSU for Ferguson, Michael Brown

According to the statement, the officers were never refused service but instead chose to leave after witnessing the "hands up, don't shoot" gesture from the employee.

"In no way was the behavior of this crew member consistent with our culture and our values as a company," the statement continues, noting that unspecified actions have been taken with the crew member and that the company is reinforcing its customer service goals with the entire Chipotle team.

"Above all, we would like to apologize to the officers involved in this incident," the statement reads. "We have proudly served law enforcement officers in our restaurants around the country for the last 21 years and we continue to do so every day."

Chipotle also apologized to customers who contacted the company who were upset by the employee's actions. Chipotle, which now has more than 1,000 stores around the globe, opened its first location in July 1993 in the University of Denver neighborhood; that restaurant is still going strong.


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Mark Antonation is the former Westword Food & Drink Editor. In 2018, he was named Outstanding Media Professional by the Colorado Restaurant Association; he's now with the Colorado Restaurant Foundation.
Contact: Mark Antonation