Restaurant patrons say they were disturbed by event with officer involved in Breonna Taylor raid
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE/Gray News) - A video went viral on social media that shows the owner of Anna’s Greek Restaurant in Bowling Green being confronted by restaurant patrons.
The customers said they are upset that their dinners were interrupted by a Republican Women’s Club of South Central Kentucky event at the restaurant. The group hosted John Mattingly, a former Louisville Metro Police Department police sergeant shot by Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend during the raid at her apartment that claimed her life.
They said Mattingly’s event had speakers playing loud footage that involved gunshots from the 2020 protests.
“The presentation crossed the line,” said Cayce Johnson, who was dining at the restaurant during Mattingly’s event. “It was completely distasteful and disrespectful. It was devoid of humanity. They should have never put that on in a public space. We should have never been subjected to that.”
Cayce Johnson made reservations at the Greek restaurant for a group of friends. She said the event took them back to March of 2020, including the Breonna Taylor protests.
Originally, the plan reportedly was to host the Mattingly event at a private venue, but those plans changed.
In a YouTube response, Mattingly apologized for disturbing other customers in the restaurant that night.
“There was no ill will and no malice,” Mattingly said. “We didn’t want the other patrons to hear this. I apologize to you, I really do.”
Mattingly also said in his apology video that he’s offered to pay people’s receipts from that night, and those individuals have declined.
Johnson said she and her friends are still uncomfortable with the situation that took place. She said she believes the apology is a start but doesn’t erase how it made them feel.
“I am so ashamed my friends were put in that situation,” Johnson said. “The memories from 2020, an awful year for people of color and for Kentucky.”
Currently, the organization that hosted Mattingly, the Republican Women’s Club of South Central Kentucky, has deactivated its social media accounts and not returned messages.
Anna’s Greek Restaurant provided a statement on Thursday issuing an apology for individuals who were negatively affected.
The restaurant explained in the statement it had received a two-hour request to accommodate a local community group. They were unaware of the content that would be presented by the Republican Women’s Club of South Central Kentucky.
“We have now recognized the need to be exceedingly diligent in reviewing any content to be presented when blending restaurant patrons with private events,” Anna’s statement reads.
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