Store manager fired after deputy picking up engagement ring turned away over service weapon

Deputy picking up engagement ring turned away from store over service weapon

IREDELL COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - A store manager accused of turning away an Iredell County deputy over his service weapon is "no longer with the company,” Kay Jewelers said Thursday, a day after being made aware of the incident.

A uniformed deputy used his lunch break to pick up an engagement ring at Kay’s on Turnersburg Highway in Statesville Tuesday. The deputy had already paid for the ring and was informed by jewelers that the ring was sized and ready for pick up.

The deputy says when he got to the store, he was told he wasn’t allowed to wear his service weapon on their premises.

“It’s not just an attack on this individual officer, it’s not just an attack on this agency. It’s an attack on law enforcement in general,” Sheriff Darren Campbell said.

The sheriff says the deputy spoke with the manager, telling them he was in uniform and his marked patrol car was in the parking lot. He said it would be a violation of policy to remove his service weapon while in uniform.

“This policy is in place for not only the safety of the deputy, but the general public as well,” the sheriff’s office said, backing the deputy’s claims.

According to the deputy, the manager told him he would need to return to the store when he was not armed.

“The reaction our deputy encountered is very difficult for us to comprehend, and we earnestly hope situations such as these are few and are diminishing,” the sheriff’s office posted on Facebook.

The Iredell County Sheriffs Office, along with Sheriff Darren Campbell, are deeply saddened at a situation involving a...

Posted by Iredell County Sheriff on Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Kay Jewelers initially responded on Facebook, saying they “sincerely apologize for the mishandling of this matter."

Thursday, Kay’s issued the following statement:

After learning of an incident involving a law enforcement officer in Iredell County, North Carolina, Kay Jewelers reached out immediately to the customer and the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office, and we sincerely apologized for the mishandling of this matter. Our policy is that any member of law enforcement is always welcomed in our store at any time, as a customer or in an official capacity. We have tremendous respect for and closely work with law enforcement at all levels, and we thank the Office for bringing this to our attention. We are reinforcing store training regarding all of our Customer First policies, as well as specific policies related to law enforcement, in all of our stores. The store manager is no longer employed by the company.
- Kay Jewelers

Deputies said they were “deeply saddened” about the situation.

“Thank you to the citizens and businesses in our area who whole heartily support the men and women who wear the badge,” the sheriff’s office posted.

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