Theme park Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, refused to allow a veteran police officer to enter the park because he was wearing a shirt that said “Retired Police Officer” on it.
Vincent Champion, a veteran of the Ormond Beach Police Department, tried to enter the theme park on November 1 with his girlfriend, Holly Bickel. But the park’s security guard would not allow him to enter.
“I walk up to the line wearing a retired law enforcement officer shirt,” Champion told Blue Lives Matter. “I start emptying out all my pockets and as I’m about to walk through, the girl behind the security counter says, ‘do you have another shirt?'”
Champion confessed that he didn’t think to bring another shirt. Another park goer loaned him a shirt and the police veteran put it on. But that wasn’t good enough for the security woman because he still had the police shirt on underneath.
The man says that the security guard told him that he would have to deposit the shirt in his car before he would be allowed into the park.
However, the car was quite a distance off and at this point Champion was getting a bit annoyed. He demanded to see the security chief on duty.
Sure enough, the security guard’s boss said that they had a rule that no one wearing police gear was allowed into the park.
Champion demanded that they show him a written policy available to the public that denies entry to people wearing police gear.
Naturally, the park had no such written policy.
Champion continued arguing and was let into the park after more than an hour’s delay.
“I was allowed in. I think it was because I complained enough and other patrons were yelling at him, he said it would be fine. He looked at my shirt and said ‘well, that doesn’t really look like a badge, so you’re okay,” the ex-policeman said.
But that experience was enough to sour on ever going back to such a police-hating establishment.
“I will never return to Universal and I know of two other police families who have already canceled their season passes to that park,” Champion said.
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