A Taco Bell employee in Alabama has been fired after authorities say two Lee County deputies were denied service. Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said in a statement that the uniformed deputies were told by the cashier at 9:40pm Saturday in Phenix City that they wouldn't be served and they needed to leave. "They initially thought that she was joking," Jones said, per the Opelika-Auburn News. "They even asked her if she was kidding. Her response was, 'No, I'm not. We don’t serve law enforcement, and you need to leave."
Taco Bell spokeswoman Laura Nedbal said in a statement to news outlets that the restaurant's franchise owner has since fired the employee. Nedbal says Taco Bell does not endorse the employee's sentiment, reports the AP. She says the franchise owner has apologized to the sheriff's office. Jones says the sheriff's office appreciates the restaurant's response to the incident, which comes amid rising tension nationwide over fatal police shootings. (Deputies in Washington state reported a similar experience.)