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Insomnia Cookies apologizes after Fargo employee calls police officer 'pig'

Insomnia Cookies, 412 Broadway, Fargo, as seen Thursday, April 13, 2017. Ryan Johnson / The Forum

FARGO—A Fargo woman is calling for a cookie bakery to follow up with its employees after a worker referred to her police officer boyfriend as a "pig."

Elizabeth Nelson said she went to Insomnia Cookies, 412 Broadway, shortly after 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 12, to wait for her boyfriend.

Her boyfriend, who she said she'd rather not name, pulled his police vehicle into a spot across the street. That's when she said an employee looked up, saw his car and said something to the effect of, "Oh, the little pigs just pulled up."

"To just say it out loud so disdainful, it's totally hurtful," Nelson said.

She said she told the employee that the officer was her boyfriend, prompting the worker to apologize, and Nelson left the business.

She posted about it on Facebook, getting hundreds of likes, reactions and comments and more than 50 shares by 11 a.m. Thursday, April 13. She also sent an email to the bakery's corporate headquarters.

In a written statement, Chief Marketing Officer Megan Bruton said Insomnia Cookies was made aware of the "unfortunate situation" and apologized to Nelson.

"We as a company do not condone this type of speech or behavior from our team members, nor does it reflect Insomnia Cookies' thoughts or sentiments," she wrote. "We have great respect for our men and women of law enforcement and the job they do to protect us."

Bruton said she couldn't comment on any action taken against the employee because it's a personnel matter, but all team members will receive additional training and support.

Nelson said it's important for Insomnia Cookies to do more than issue a "cliche response," and she suggested it could ask employees to ride along with police officers to learn about the job.

She also sees it as a lesson about how the actions of one employee can reflect poorly on an entire company, even a national chain like this.

"Companies have to remember how important social media is," she said.

Ryan Johnson

Ryan Johnson is the Features Editor for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. He previously wrote for The Forum and the Grand Forks Herald.

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