NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — An honor turned into humiliation for the family of a fallen NYPD officer from East Islip.
A company tried to reward the family for their son’s sacrifice by giving them a free turkey, but when the family attempted to redeem the gift they faced discrimination, TV 10/55’s Jennifer McLogan reported.
“What makes it so infuriating is that this isn’t something she cut out of a newspaper. The only reason she had this coupon was because we lost our son,” Paul Schaberger said.
Shady Brook Farms sends the families of NYPD officers killed in the line of duty a voucher for a free turkey. The Schabergers were among the last families evacuated from the U.S. Embassy in Saigon during the Vietnam war. They settled in East Islip in 1975.
Their hero son was killed two years ago by an ex-con on the stoop of a Brooklyn Brownstone.
“The loss of my son is so much greater for me to think about,” May Schaberger said.
That pain turned into humiliation when May walked into her local Pathmark to redeem a holiday bird in the name of her son.
She said that the clerk balked, customers stared, and a supervisor was called in. Schaberger overheard the clerk allege that the voucher may have been downloaded online.
“I wasn’t angry. I was more embarrassed, so I just took the piece of paper and got out of the store,” she said.
When contacted for a comment store management referred to TV 10/55 to their corporate headquarters.
Officer Alain Schaberger had been a descendent of generations of U.S. service members and was proud to be a Vietnamese American.
“I was very offended by the way she had been treated. She was insulted and humiliated,” Paul said.
The Schabergers have filed a lawsuit in the State Supreme Court alleging that Pathmark employees practiced racial discrimination.
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