Bowing to social media attacks from a “woke mob,” the Grapevine Police Department rejected a donation from a local business known for supporting conservative Christian causes, creating more backlash from residents confused by the message police are sending to the community.

The business, Grapevine-based Patriot Mobile, responded today, saying they would continue to support first responders “despite the outrage from the left.”

“The response from the far left is not surprising to us, nor is it anything new,” Patriot Mobile CEO Glenn Story said in a statement Tuesday. “Our mission is to defend our God-given Constitutional rights.”

Patriot Mobile bills itself as “America’s only Christian conservative wireless provider” and donates to organizations that fight for shared values like religious freedom, free speech, protecting life, and supporting first responders.

In 2022, the company donated more than $2 million to Christian conservative causes and also gave $500,000 to Patriot Mobile Action, created to support like-minded candidates. The group supported 11 Tarrant County school board candidates in 2022, and all won their races.

Last Thursday, Patriot Mobile donated a $1,500 pizza party gift certificate to the Grapevine Police Department as thanks for their service to the local community. The company bought the certificate at an auction benefiting families of fallen soldiers, with the intent of honoring police officers.

The department acknowledged Patriot Mobile’s gift on Facebook and Twitter, a common practice, saying Grapevine Police were “blessed to have their support and encouragement.”

Hundreds of people, many from outside Grapevine, then posted comments criticizing the department for accepting and acknowledging a gift from a conservative organization and calling both Patriot Mobile and Grapevine Police “racist” and “fascist.”

“Great. Patriot Mobile,” Fort Worth resident and small business owner Leslie Doughty Greenfield commented. “First they fund, campaign for, & place their politically motivated, backwards agenda minded board members on the neighboring school boards. Now, they have added influencing police departments. Sad & scary days indeed. At least as it appears.”

“Of course they are ‘friends’ with fascists,” wrote Lydia Eilen. “The police are designed to protect affluent conservative white people and to criminalize everyone else, especially POC… Taking pizza from a divisive, hateful group like Patriot Mobile is just par for the course.”

Grapevine Police responded to the flood of negative comments with another Facebook post, vowing to “do better moving forward” and “reevaluate” how they receive donations. The department also said it would “donate the food to a true need.”

“We do not question a donor’s beliefs, we simply express our gratitude,” the department said.

Many noted the disconnect.

“I’m confused,” said Grapevine resident Julie McCarty, who heads one of the largest conservative grassroots groups in the state, True Texas Project.

You did something great. Someone thanked you. You accepted the thanks, as anyone would. Someone tried to politicize it. So you’re retracting your thanks and giving away the gift? You’re being bullied. Please keep the gift. Enjoy. Please know the vast majority of the Grapevine community is grateful and saw what an excellent job you did. Don’t let the naysayers control you. They are just trying to stir up trouble.

“It’s mind-boggling to think that our local police department would bow to the pressure of an angry mob when a local business makes a simple donation of appreciation like so many other businesses have done before them,” Grapevine Republican Club President Laura Oakley told Texas Scorecard.

“This is not acceptable and must be addressed so that all citizens and all businesses can count on equal treatment from our police,” she said.

Oakley encouraged Grapevine citizens to email Chief Mike Hamlin about the divisiveness created when the police department “bent their knee to the woke mob.”

In its statement Tuesday, Patriot Mobile asked that the rejected donation be given to another North Texas police department. Texas Scorecard has reached out to the Grapevine Police for comment.

Patriot Mobile also said the company received an outpouring of positive messages from the community and “remains resolute in supporting our first responders.”

“The truth of Genesis 50:20 always rings true whenever we are attacked: ‘You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done.’”

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.

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