A Kansas police department accused a local McDonald’s of giving one of its officers a coffee cup with the words “f****** pig” on it.
Last Saturday, Herington Police Chief Brian Hornaday took to Facebook to share that the unidentified policeman went to the fast-food restaurant’s location in Junction City and ordered a coffee. When the officer received his drink, he claimed that someone had written the insult on the side of his cup.
“This is what he paid for,” Hornaday wrote. “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.”
The cop has reportedly served as a Military Police Officer in the United States Army for five years but just recently joined the Herington Police Department.
“The US Veteran who continues to serve deserves much more,” Hornaday continued. “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.”
The police chief’s post immediately went viral, receiving nearly 6,000 reactions and 50 comments from fellow Facebook users who expressed their outrage.
“Companies need to make it absolutely clear when they hire someone what is and is not acceptable behavior,” one person wrote. “They have to also be held responsible, and offering that little token is BS! Sad that this is becoming way too common.”
In a statement to KSNT that same day, a general manager at the McDonald’s said that the franchise was looking into the incident. The Geary County Sheriff’s Department also followed up in a separate statement of its own on Facebook, claiming that it would still support the restaurant.
“We don’t know the whole story and are saddened by seeing this incident in our community,” the department wrote. “However, we at the Geary County Sheriff’s Office, believe this was an isolated incident and have faith in management at McDonald’s to get to the bottom of the situation. We do not believe the actions of one individual represent the feeling of our community as a whole, a community we are proud to serve.”
The next day, however, Dana Cook, the owner of the McDonald’s, asserted that, following an internal investigation, the franchise found the employee in question was not responsible for writing the message on the officer’s cup.
“My McDonald’s have the utmost respect for all members of law enforcement and the military and were troubled by the accusation made,” Cook said in a statement to KSNT. “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.”
The police chief had also looked at security tape on the day of the incident but couldn’t find any proof, according to the station. A day after Hornaday’s post went vial, Cook told KSNT that new evidence further proves that the employee was not the culprit.
Still, Hornaday said he just wants answers.
“Acknowledgment that something was done wrong is kind of what we always want,” he said. “Whether it’s something like this that happened at McDonald’s or in the criminal justice system.”
Hornaday’s post came just a month after an Oklahoma police chief accused a Starbucks employee of handing one of his officers a cup with a label that called him a “pig.” Both the employee and the coffee shop’s manager were fired following the incident.