Doughnut shop stirs up controversy after dropping police, military discounts

Shop ends police discount after firefighter accused officers of racial profiling, store says

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PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island – Cops and doughnut shops are a bit of a cliché.

An eatery in Providence, Rhode Island, had been offering discounts on the sweets to law enforcement offices, that was up until a Providence firefighter accused officers of racially profiling him.

Now, the doughnut shop is ending the perk and that has sparked some controversy.

"Every company in Rhode Island across the country and across the world needs to be supporting this movement as it’s been far too long," Newton said.

Allie's Donuts took to social media after criticizing a Providence police officer for allegedly racially profiling a Providence firefighter.

On Sunday, Allie's clarified its decision saying, "It's time to recognize the voices & stand with our fellow black & brown Rhode Islanders, who want to be treated equally."

The shop then apologized to those who mistook their move as disrespectful to military members or law enforcement.

"I support any business that takes a stand and comes out in support of Black Lives Matter and focus on ending police brutality," Joslin, a customer, said.

Those waiting in line for over an hour say their message is deeper than a discount.

“I’m not going to sit here and watch you take a place of business from a Rhode Islander because you don’t like it because a certain person can’t get 10% off," Dina, a customer, said. “I am not against cops. I am not against military. I am not against different races. I am for humanity.”

The decision by Allie's Donut didn't sit well with everyone.

In a Facebook post, the North Kingstown Police Department called it distasteful, saying, "Let's start talking about how to lift up our community and not tear it down."

After seeing the post, Tami Ilvarone, a veteran, started what she calls the donut challenge.

Saturday morning she handed out 24 dozen donuts from another local shop to police and fire stations around Rhode Island.

“Cause immediately I was like, ‘make doughnuts. Do something.’ Use this for a time of unity, not of opposition.” Ilvarone said. “So, don’t fight against the cause. Support, support them. Support the police right now."

The Providence Fraternal Order of Police denies the racial profiling incident that angered the doughnut shop owners.

It says a witness, not race, caused police to approach the firefighter in question.