Windsor police officer involved in Arby's incident faces misconduct hearing after internal review

·2 min read
Two employees took a knee while serving a Windsor police officer during a drive-thru in June 2020.
Two employees took a knee while serving a Windsor police officer during a drive-thru in June 2020.

(Twitter - image credit)

A Windsor police officer faces allegations of misconduct under the Police Services Act following an internal review that was sparked by an incident at an Arby's restaurant franchise in June.

The allegations made against officer Tim Kettlewell are before a hearing officer, according to a Windsor police spokesperson. The organization said it can't provide further comment because the issue is before the disciplinary tribunal.

Kettlewell was one of two officers allegedly involved in an incident that took place last summer where an on-duty officer in the drive-thru at an Arby's restaurant on Tecumseh Road refused his food after he saw employees take a knee — a sign of protest against police brutality and racism toward the Black community.

At the time, Windsor police said the on-duty officer took a photo of the employees performing the gesture and sent it to an off-duty officer who posted the picture to his personal social media account with inaccurate details of the event.

The post made by the off-duty officer falsely retold the events and implied that the restaurant shouldn't count on him responding to a service call at that location, if needed, said the police service. The post went viral and received a lot of attention from the public.

The incident took place around the time when the world was seeing a resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement and community members expressed their disappointment in the actions of the police officers.

"The Windsor Police Service did not authorize nor do we support the message posted by the off-duty officer," the police service said following the incident.

"We want to re-assure the community that the safety of everyone is paramount and our officers will always respond to all calls for service."

At this time, the board said it would launch an internal review, and it is this review that has resulted in the police act allegations and disciplinary hearing.

In August, a $600,000 defamation lawsuit was also filed by James Laughton Enterprises Inc. against the Windsor Police Services board, Kettlewell and officer Shawn Farrand.