An Oklahoma police officer working on Thanksgiving Day wanted to do something nice for the dispatchers who were also on-duty instead of enjoying the holiday with their families.
As a reward for his act of kindness, a Starbucks barista allegedly called him a “pig” — a derogatory term used by anti-law enforcement activists to mock police.
“So… one of my on-duty officers decides to do something nice for our dispatchers,” Kiefer Police Chief Johnny O’Mara wrote Thursday on Facebook.
“It’s Thanksgiving Day; our dispatchers are under appreciated as it is. My officer goes to Starbucks to get the dispatchers coffee as a thank you for all they do (especially when they’re working a holiday.).”
“This is what he gets for being nice,” O’Mara added.
O’Mara attached an image of one of the cups his officers received.
Instead of a name, the barista appeared to have written the word “PIG” in all capital letters.
When O’Mara found out about what happened, he said he called the Starbucks location “and was told they’d be happy to ‘replace the coffee with a correct label,'” according to his post.
“The proverb ‘Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me’ came to mind,” the police chief wrote.
Starbucks posted a comment under O’Mara’s Facebook post, calling the incident “totally unacceptable and offensive to all law enforcement.”
A company spokesperson also told KOKH-TV that the barista involved has been suspended while Starbucks investigates.
“This is absolutely unacceptable and we are deeply sorry to the law enforcement officer who experienced this,” the spokesperson, Jory Mendes, said. “We have also apologized directly to him and we are working to connect with the police chief as well as to express our remorse.”
“The barista has been suspended pending the outcome of our investigation into this matter.”
O’Mara said what bothers him the most about the incident is that the barista felt the need to disrespect an officer who was working on Thanksgiving to keep the town safe.
“What irks me is the absolute and total disrespect for a police officer who, instead of being home with family and enjoying a meal and a football game, is patrolling his little town,” he wrote.
“This cup of coffee for a ‘pig’ is just another little flag,” he added.
“It’s another tiny symptom and a nearly indiscernible shout from a contemptuous, roaring and riotous segment of a misanthropic society that vilifies those who stand for what’s right and glorifies the very people who would usher in the destruction of the social fabric. It’s another tiny pinprick into the heart of men and women who are asking themselves more often: ‘Why am I doing this?’”
O’Mara said he doesn’t blame the company itself. The employee in question apologized, O’Mara said, and he appreciates the gesture.
“You’re a corporation trying to sell a product,” he wrote under the company’s Facebook comment.
“I’m certain you don’t condone this kind of juvenile activity. The employee made an unfortunate decision which, in turn, negatively effects your company’s image. I appreciate you reaching out to my officer and I also appreciate the employee reaching out and apologizing on her own.”
The police chief told KOTV-DT that all he’d like is for people to show a bit of courtesy and respect.
“It’s not Starbucks,” he said. “It’s on the individual level. There needs to be a little bit more decency in the world. There needs to be a little bit more common sense from people.
“Just dealing with — when we’re dealing every day with anybody — a little courtesy goes a long way.”
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