Two members of the South Carolina National Guard claimed they found glass baked into a pizza they ordered while they were deployed to Washington, D.C. amid protests against police brutality and systemic racism. The story came under scrutiny, especially after D.C. police told The Washingtonian they had no record of such an incident ever being reported. A South Carolina National Guard spokesperson confirmed the soldiers never filed a report with Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department and they believe the incident was not intentional.
The alleged incident took place on June 3. According to the Post and Courier, a U.S. Department of Defense report showed the soldiers were staying at the Marriott Marquis Hotel when they found glass shards baked into the pizza they ordered using UberEats. Neither soldier ate the pizza and there were no injuries. "The command says that the soldiers are OK, and that this was the only incident to their knowledge," Capt. Jessica Donnelly, a spokeswoman for the S.C. National Guard, told the Post and Courier.
Initially, the Charleston, South Carolina outlet reported that Donnelly said the soldiers reported the incident to police. A D.C. police spokesman told The Washingtonian the incident was not reported. After Donnelly was presented with that information, she said the soldiers "were advised" to file a report. The Post and Courtier later updated its story to note Donnelly said the soldiers were only advised.
Donnelly also told Newsweek no one "believes it was intentional or meant to cause harm," noting it was a "single incident" and the soldiers are fine. "Their command said the Soldiers were advised to file a report with local police department. From my understanding they chose not to," she said. "There is no additional information to report."
There has been no explanation as to how the pizza restaurant the soldiers ordered from would have known they were members of the National Guard. The Washingtonian contacted local pizza restaurants, and the only one open at the time was All-Purpose Pizza, which does not accept orders through UberEats. In addition, Uber said it never received a report on glass in pizza.
Thousands of National Guard troops from across the country were deployed to the nation's capital earlier this month in the wake of protests following George Floyd's death. The decision was widely criticized as a show of excessive force. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has ordered a review into the National Guard's deployment to D.C., reports DCist. The National Guard was given a July 30 deadline to finish its review.