In Jacksonville, Florida, a code inspector walked into Jaguar Power Sports to issue a warning citation. Melinda Power, the inspector, was accompanied by her supervisor. The store had rooftop flags for each branch of the military, which violated the city code, Power stated.
The store also has a Jacksonville Jaguars flag, and two American flags.
She told the establishment that they needed to correct the violation, or they would face “prosecution for the offense.” This upset the staff.
Marcy Moyer, the store manager, told WJAX, “We cater to our men and women, both retired and active military, so it was personal. We felt like it was a personal attack.”
One customer present at the store was a military veteran who became upset after he heard Power’s warning. According to store employees, the man decided to speak out, and that was when Power got in his face.
The store’s surveillance footage captured the entire confrontation.
Katie Klasse, one of the employees, heard Power ask the combat veteran, “What did you do for this country?”
The unidentified man responded that had taken three bullets and almost lost a leg while serving the country, adding that he was a retired veteran. Power responded, “You did nothing for this country.” She then thrust her finger in the veteran’s face.
The employees politely asked Power and her supervisor to leave the store since she had become disruptive and disrespectful.
Power went on Facebook to post about the incident, claiming that she thought the man had asked her, “Do you know what I did?” to which she responded “Nothing.” However, she admitted, “I should never have been unprofessional and disrespectful period. Sincerely apologize.”
She added that her father, husband, and son-in-law have all served in the military, and that she has “the utmost respect for the military.”
Her post has since been deleted.
The damage had already been done, and the surveillance footage led a number of people to call City Hall asking for Power to be fired.
The mayor released a statement; “What I saw reported is 100 percent inconsistent with how I expect every city employee to interact with our citizens.”
He added that Power and the supervisor were both “placed on leave.”
Lenny Curry, the Jacksonville Mayor, stated, “As the son and grandson of military veterans and the mayor of a city with a proud history of commitment to our nation’s defense, I will not tolerate disparagement or disrespect of the men and women who serve or served. On behalf of the City of Jacksonville, I apologize to veterans and service members who are rightly troubled by the events that have been reported.”