CHICAGO — A woman, who says she is a police officer, says she was asked to leave a Pilsen-area bookstore after being allegedly told the business was not “cop-friendly.”
In a widely circulated social media post, the officer shared that she walked into the Pilsen Community Book Shop in uniform to buy a bible. She says someone in the store told her she could not be inside because of her service equipment. Once asked to leave, the officer said she complied. Still, the officer said she was embarrassed and heartbroken over the mistreatment, telling WGN News that it’s an unfortunate event that she is still processing.
Many have shared their support for the female officer under the post while condemning the bookstore.
“Wow! Just, wow. I’m sorry this happened to you. Shame on them. Shame on you Pilsen Community Books,” one comment read.
“Pilsen Community Books this is ridiculous. This type of mindset and behavior is what further promotes division rather than unity,” another comment read.
But others say they stand behind the store’s stance.
“They have the right to refuse service to the police, know what I mean?” said a man who did not wish to be named.
Personnel affiliated with the store declined to speak with WGN News, referring to a statement on their social media pages that talked about the locals that come through their doors each day who aren’t necessarily in uniform.
“These people are our community, and these people are always welcome,” the statement read. “In the interest of fostering a safe space for all of these people, whenever possible, we aim to keep PCB a police-free store.”
Some feel it is well within the store’s right to refuse service.
“If, according to them, the police, by nature, make the people they serve feel unsafe and if this is a problem that they recognize and identify, then according to the laws of the country that the police are here to protect, private property, they are free to kick the police out of there,” the man added.
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The Pilsen Chamber of Commerce and Ald. Byron Sigcho Lopez (25th Ward) declined to comment on the matter.