A police officer in Kansas has resigned from the force after admitting he fabricated the story of a McDonald’s employee handing him a coffee cup with “f—ing pig” written on the label.
An image of the alleged message went viral over the weekend after the Herington Police Department announced it was investigating the case.
The unidentified officer resigned from the Herington Police Department on Monday following the conclusion of that investigation, police Chief Brian Hornaday said.
“This was completely and solely fabricated by a Herington police officer no longer employed with the agency,” Hornaday told reporters on Monday, according to NBC News.
The now-former officer was a 23-year-old who had been on the force for two months. He was previously a military police officer in the U.S. army.
Hornaday said he initially believed the rookie’s claims because he was a “uniformed, sworn officer” who is expected to tell the truth.
The officer claimed he was making a joke, Hornaday said.
“I hope he understands the magnitude of the black eye this gives the law enforcement profession from coast to coast,” Hornaday said.
Police have deleted the Facebook post that launched the controversy on Saturday. However, that initial post went viral and received widespread news coverage.
The McDonald’s where the incident supposedly happened was in Junction City, Kansas. The restaurant maintained throughout the investigation that its employees had not written anything on the receipt. Unlike Starbucks, McDonald’s hands out its coffees by three-digit numbers, not written names.
The restaurant ultimately provided police with video footage that proved its employee’s innocence, Hornaday said.
“While we’re glad that the evidence confirmed our evaluation that the McDonald’s and our employees, the crew members, were absolutely not involved, we stand with our community in being disappointed about these actions,” Lenor Brazzi, director of operations for the Junction City McDonald’s, told the New York Times.
Hornaday said he’s spoken to the district attorney and does not expect criminal charges in the case.
He said he hopes the community — and police — can pull together and rebuild the trust that’s been damaged by this false case.
“The duty of every police officer is to protect and serve with the highest level of integrity and trust,” Hornaday said. “This incident has been an obvious violation of that public trust.”Follow @JoshKElliott
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