CHICAGO — A woman who identifies as a police officer says she was asked to leave a Pilsen-area bookstore after she was allegedly told the business was not “cop friendly.”
In a widely circulated post on social media, the officer said she entered the community bookstore in Pilsen in uniform to buy a Bible. She says someone in the store told her she couldn’t be inside because of her service gear. When asked to leave, the officer said she complied. Still, the officer said she was embarrassed and heartbroken by the mistreatment, telling WGN News it’s an unfortunate event she’s still dealing with.
Many 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 is ridiculous. This type of mindset and behavior is what promotes division more than unity,” reads another comment.
But others say they support the store’s position.
“They have the right to refuse to serve the police, see what I mean,” said a man who did not wish to be named.
Staff affiliated with the store declined to speak to WGN News, referring WGN News to a statement on their social media pages that spoke of locals who walk through their doors every day who are not necessarily in uniform.
“These people are our community, and these people are always welcome,” the statement said. “In the interest of fostering a safe space for all of these people, wherever possible, we aim to keep PCB a police-free store.”
Some feel it is entirely within the store’s right to refuse service.
“If, in their view, the police, by their 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 land that the police are there to protect, private property, they are free to chase the police away,” the man added.
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The Chamber of Commerce of Pilsen and Ald. Byron Sigcho Lopez (25th arrondissement) declined to comment on the matter.
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