ORANGE PARK, Fla. – A sign along Blanding Boulevard in Orange Park is catching the attention of many, so News4Jax dug into the story behind it.
The sign -- fixed under the business sign for Ocean Movers -- reads, “OP POLICE DEP HAS RACISTS YOU HAVE TO FIX IT.”
Basar Sahbudak, the manager of Ocean Movers, explained it all started after he called police to report a customer who refused to pay her bill.
It wasn’t the first time he had to involve police for such an incident.
But the interaction that day left him disappointed with local law enforcement, he said.
Sahbudak explained the officer who came out to the office space property refused to talk to him.
“I’m an American citizen, but I was born in Turkey. I am Muslim, and the main reason, I believe, in the first place the officer didn’t listen to me (is) because of how I look and my accent,” Sahbudak said.
His wife, Amber, who is white, agreed.
“150 percent,” she said. “If I would have been there, it would have been a completely different interaction.”
Amber said she believes that’s the case because the responding officers spoke with her by phone.
“They were happy to communicate with me when they thought I was just the secretary,” she said. “After they were told and instructed to go speak to my husband, who was the authoritative for the business on site, they continued to only communicate with me without saying 2.5 minutes of words with him.”
The Sahbudaks said they were so upset by the interaction that they put up the sign outside their business.
Hours later, the couple went to file an official complaint with the police department against the responding officers.
But they noticed something.
The name at the bottom of the Orange Park police complaint form matched the name of a person who had just left a review on Ocean Movers’ social media page -- responding to the sign.
The comment read: “This is what they think of local law enforcement. If you need a moving company that supports law enforcement and public safety, take your business elsewhere.”
The commenter has the same name as Orange Park Chief of Police Gary Goble. The post has since been deleted.
The Sahbudaks said despite the frustration that prompted the sign, they back the blue.
“We love our law enforcement, our military,” explained Basar.
“First it was disbelief, then I was infuriated, and then I was sad,” Amber said.
Orange Park PD said the initial incident involving the Basar’s interaction with the officers is under internal review.
The Orange Park city manager said she is reviewing the incident involving the social media post.