Party store clerk won’t sell balloons for police memorial, customer says

Party celebration balloons isolated on white

Party celebration balloons isolated on white

(CNN) — A customer says a Party City employee refused to fill a balloon request after learning the order was for a police officer’s memorial ceremony in Pleasant Hills, Pennsylvania.

Karly Lane went to Party City on Saturday to buy a dozen blue and black balloons to honor her friend, Duquesne Police officer Robert Gogo Jr., who died in an off-duty motorcycle accident last month, she told CNN affiliate WPXI.

Once the worker discovered the balloons were to honor a police officer, Lane said, the worker had someone else wait on her.

Lane complained on her personal Facebook. As of Monday afternoon, her post had nearly 1,000 shares.

“My heart was broken,” Lane wrote.

Party City responded that they “absolutely do not condone this type of behavior and are taking the situation very seriously.”

Party City said it is conducting an internal investigation and holding “an immediate sensitivity training and code of conduct refresher.”

The officer’s mother, Cheryl Gogo, said she could understand why people would think the clerk’s reaction could be related to recent news events involving police officers.

“It bothers me what is going on in the world,” Gogo said. “But you can’t take a few incidents and hold that against every officer. Whenever you are in a customer service field you should wait on the customer, regardless of your feelings.”

Duquesne Police Chief Richard Scott Adams remembers Gogo as a dedicated officer who loved his job.

“As police officers we don’t pick and choose where we go,” Adams said. “People have a right to make their own decisions, but it is disturbing to me.”