“A table goes to sit down and the guy looks over at one of the police officers and was like, ‘Nah I don’t want to sit here.’ So they got moved completely opposite, away from the police officers,” said Eat N’ Park server Jesse Meyers.
Homestead police Officer Chuck Thomas said it was obvious the man and woman didn’t want to anything to do with the police officers.
“I looked over and said, ‘It’s okay sir. You won’t have to worry about it, we won’t hurt you,” Thomas said. “He looked at me hard again and said he’s not sitting here and walked away.”
Thomas said he and another officer thought they should pay the couple’s bill and asked Meyers to bring the check.
“Essentially the whole goal of it was to let him know that we’re not here to hurt you, we’re not here for that,” Thomas said. “We’re here for you. We work for the public. And we just want to better the relationship between the community and the police.”
Thomas elaborated that tensions between the public and police had been high since the Dallas shooting Friday, which left five officers dead.
“Tensions in the community were tight. A lot of people were coming up to us and shaking our hands and thanking us, but you could just feel tight air through the community,” Thomas said.
The total bill for the couple came to $28.50 plus a $10 tip.
The officers wrote, “Sir, your check was paid for by the police officers that you didn’t want to sit next to. Thank you for your support. I left a $10.00 tip too.”
“It just dawned on me, I should do this real quick just to show this guy look, I don’t know if you had bad experience with the police in the past — you may have you may have not — but I just want you to know I never had an experience with you and I’m not here to do anything to you. And neither will my partners,” Thomas said.