On Saturday, the local Kansas police chief Brian Hornaday posted an expletive on his social media account. In an Instagram post, the Herington law enforcement official put up a photo of a McDonald's coffee cup, with the words "fucking pig" written on it in marker. In a lengthy caption, he wrote:
One of my Officers decided to grab a coffee at the McDonalds located at 1127 South Washington in Junction City this morning on his way to work. This is what he paid for. Although I understand this is likely the act of one person and not a representation of the company, when it was brought to their attention the company offered him a "free lunch". No thank you. A Big Mac and large fries doesn't make up for it. The US Veteran who continues to serve deserves much more. This is not only bad for McDonalds, but is also a black eye for Junction City. I apologize for the foul language, but covering it up would take away the full effect. Please share!
The story is similar to another in Oklahoma earlier this year, when a Starbuck's employee was fired for putting the word "pig" on a cup of coffee for a police officer there. It's not clear what kind of apology or tribute Hornaday thought would be adequate here, but it turns out that "free lunch" would have more than made up for it. Dana Cook, the owner of the Junction City McDonald's, sent the local NBC affiliate KSNT a statement reading, "My McDonald’s have the utmost respect for all members of law enforcement and the military and were troubled by the accusation made. We thoroughly reviewed our security video from every angle, which clearly shows the words were not written by one of our employees. We look forward to working with Chief Hornaday as he continues his investigation."
In response, Hornaday told KSNT, "Acknowledgment that something was done wrong is kind of what we always want. Whether it’s something like this that happened at McDonald’s or in the criminal justice system."
Hornaday now says that the 23-year-old officer who showed him the cup admits he wrote it himself "as a joke." The officer had worked for the department only two months, and on Monday, after admitting he lied about the controversy, he resigned. "I hope he understands the magnitude of the black eye this gives the law enforcement profession from coast to coast," Hornaday told reporters. The officer's name won't be revealed, Hornaday said, because, now, it's not a public matter.
Maybe you heard about the Tamir Rice case and wondered: How does a 12-year-old boy with a toy gun on a playground get shot to death on-camera by the police without anyone getting charged? Put another way: How does a small group of government officials make this case disappear without a trial? Here’s how.
Originally Appeared on GQ