CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Police Department is investigating a complaint that one of its officers was drinking at an Over-the-Rhine bar while he had a firearm with him.
According to department spokeswoman Tiffaney Hardy, the complaint alleges two off-duty officers, not in uniform, were at 16-Bit Bar + Arcade at about 1 a.m. Monday.
Troy Allen, owner of 16-Bit, said both men identified themselves as off-duty officers; one used his police identification to get inside, Allen said.
Later, a customer told a manager that one of the men, who was drinking, had a gun; the barcade prohibits patrons from bringing firearms inside, and Ohio law also prohibits anyone carrying a firearm inside a bar from drinking alcohol.
The officer with the gun was "super polite and understanding," Allen said, but the other officer was "just irrational," claiming he and his friend were being targeted because they were police officers.
The men left, and at that point, Allen thought it was "a non-issue."
That was, until 16-Bit was the target of Facebook complaints that it was "anti-cop." Allen decided he had to respond.
"I want to clearly state that we fully respect and support all officers that protect and serve," he posted Wednesday morning. "For anyone to suggest we are anti-police is a sad agenda that is completely false and very irresponsible."
At that point, Allen said, the social media argument spiraled into a pro-gun/anti-gun debate. Though Allen said he didn't want to get either officer in trouble, he felt like he had to point out that the officer with the gun may have been breaking Ohio law.
"One irrational person decided to post something and, as things happen online, it blows up," Allen said.
The barcade's surveillance system recorded video and audio of the incident, he said, and 16-Bit is working with the CPD on the case.
WCPO has requested the complaint filed and all materials related to the internal investigation.