DALLAS - The controversy at the Dallas Police Department Southeast Patrol Division started over a Chick-fil-A sandwich, but now there are questions about bigotry, harassment and discrimination.
It happened August 1, on Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, when people were asked to support the restaurant chain’s president on his traditional marriage stance.
Sgt. Mark Johnson allegedly put the sandwich in front of two lesbian officers and said, "Guess where I ate today?"
But Johnson insists the female officers were the ones who approached him.
"We have two versions of what happened from three employees, and at this point, I don't just want to stand on one version or the other," said Dallas Police Chief David Brown. "I suspect the truth is somewhere in the middle."
The lesbian officers told supervisors they felt Sgt. Johnson was trying to send them a message, and they were offended.
"If anyone said anything inappropriate, we will take swift disciplinary action," Brown said. "We won't tolerate this kind of behavior, if this turns out to be true."
The Dallas Police Association (DPA) said Johnson has already been disciplined before a complete investigation. He was transferred within hours of the incident to an overnight shift at the jail.
"What we have problems with is when the process doesn't play out and officers are punished before any due process has happened at all," said DPA President Ron Pinkston.
The DPA said supervisors have jumped to extremes over a chicken sandwich. But the department said it takes allegations of harassment and discrimination seriously.
Internal affairs is investigating.