Employees at Serious Pizza were serious as a heart attack about denying a disabled U.S. Army veteran use of their Dallas, Texas, restaurant’s bathroom.
Dynell Lane informed the oversight board of Dallas Police Department that two off-duty uniformed officers working security for Serious Pizza refused to intercede when he asked for their help.
“The Dallas Police Department failed me,” Lane told oversight members at their monthly August meeting, according to a report from The Dallas Morning News.
“Two Dallas police officers discriminated against me and declined to assist me in bridging the gap between myself and the Serious Pizza manager.”
The two off-duty Dallas police officers working security at Serious Pizza, declined to review his medical documentation when he sought permission to use the restroom around 2:15 a.m. on June 10.
Lane reportedly suffered disabilities while serving with the Army. The report noted he made an emergency call to 911, but assistance did not arrive promptly.
Milkshake Concepts, the company that owns Serious Pizza, acknowledged the incident involving the off-duty officers and a patron.
Their statement emphasized their commitment to ensuring the safety and comfort of employees and customer. The company added they employ off-duty Dallas Police Department officers to maintain a secure environment.
Dallas PD’s internal affairs division concluded the officers did not breach any policy. Kristin Lowman, a police spokeswoman, claimed the department is examining the complaint.
Body-camera footage from on-duty Dallas officers showed them entering Serious Pizza and discussing the incident with the off-duty officers, according to the report.
Video captured on-duty officers inquiring about the individual who had an accident, with one of them laughing at the situation. The off-duty officers confirmed the incident, expressing surprise Lane had called 911.
Oversight Board members expressed concerns regarding the officers’ behavior.
Jonathan Maples, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, considered Lane’s treatment deeply unsettling.
Another board member, Derric Pegram, highlighted the Dallas police code of conduct, which emphasizes treating everyone with respect, regardless of their on or off-duty status.
Texas has a restroom access law known as “Ally’s Law,” mandating individuals with a medical condition that requires immediate restroom access be granted permission if they provide relevant evidence.
Lane emphasized the importance of this law and the Americans With Disabilities Act during his address to the oversight board.
Dallas PD Lt. Anthony Greer claimed the department would investigate whether the law was violated in this case.
Irene Alanis, the major over internal affairs, stated that they would review the Americans With Disabilities Act’s implications.
Lane, who has served in Afghanistan and Kuwait, shared his challenges post his military service. He emphasized the difficulties he faces daily due to his disabilities and the emotional toll it takes on him.
The oversight board members unanimously voted to initiate an independent investigation into the incident.
They expressed concerns about the scope of the internal affairs investigation and urged the department to uphold the integrity and values associated with the Dallas Police Department uniform.