Frederick County, MD – A mobile pizza business in Maryland is seeking donations after allegedly losing its “place of business” for publicly refusing to serve uniformed law enforcement officers.
“Pizza Llama reserves the right to refuse service to police officers in uniform,” the food truck business declared in a Facebook post on June 8.
“The comfort, safety, and well-being of our community (staff and customers) is our priority,” the post read. “Everyone is welcome to enjoy Pizza Llama, just not in a police uniform.”
Over 8,200 of the 14,000-plus people who reacted to the post indicated they were angered by the company’s stance.
“At the end of the day, when you need them, they will be there for you no matter how badly you treated them,” one commenter wrote.
“So now it’s ok to discriminate based on a person’s profession,” another response read.” Great way to solve the problem. I’ll never eat here.”
A fundraising effort launched to “help Pizza Llama secure a new space” for business has garnered just $855 of its $10,000 goal since it was established on June 6.
“As many of you are aware Pizza Llama has taken a Bold stance in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and that has unfortunately caused him to lose his place of business,” the fundraising page read. “Let’s come together as a community and help Pizza Llama secure a new space !! Thank you Pizza Llama for taking a strong stand against racial injustice !”
Two days before Pizza Llama’s public announcement, the Mount Airy Farmers Market confirmed it had “dismissed” the food truck from the market.
“The Mount Airy Main Street Farmers’ Market (Mount Airy Farmers Market) and Mount Airy Main Street Association (MAMSA) are apolitical organizations and therefore, must not discriminate in any way,” the group said in a Facebook post. “The Mount Airy Main Street Farmers’ Market and its vendors must put politics aside and serve all customers for the success of the market and the community it serves.”
The Mount Airy Farmers Market said that it regretted that such action “had to be taken,” and wished “everyone peace during these turbulent times.”
According to The Frederick News-Post, Pizza Llama owner Andrew Wilkinson was charged with 25 counts in connection with a drug conspiracy case in Frederick County in 2013.
Undercover officers had confiscated “26 pounds of high-grade marijuana” from him during a “huge” sting operation, the judge noted at the time.
Under the terms of a plea agreement, Wilkinson pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and two counts of distribution of marijuana.
He was sentenced to 18 months in jail, followed by three years of probation, WJLA reported.
Attempts to reach Pizza Llama by phone and email for comment for this story were unsuccessful.