A Kansas cop is off the job after cooking up a tall order of lies in which he accused McDonald’s employees of writing an expletive and the word “pig” on his coffee order this week.
The unnamed officer resigned Monday after admitting to making the whole thing up, Herington Police Chief Brian Hornaday said at a news conference Monday.
He said the 23-year-old, a former Army military police officer who’d been with department in northeast Kansas for just two months, had “completely and solely fabricated” the accusations in what the officer said was intended to be a “joke.”
That “officer is no longer employed with the agency,” Hornaday told reporters.
The police chief made it clear that McDonald’s workers had nothing to do with the hoax and commended the fast food chain for conducting its own investigation while cooperating with the department’s.
Hornaday’s response to the officer’s poor attempt at a prank was an about-face from his initial reaction, when he blasted the restaurant workers over the alleged anti-police act. In a Facebook post, he shared a photo of the cup scrawled with the words “f——g pig,” saying one of his officers was handed the order Saturday when he stopped by the McDonald’s in Junction City on his way to work.
“The U.S. veteran [that] continues to serve deserves much more than this,” the police chief wrote in a now-deleted post, adding: “We deal with enough frustration in our daily duties every day. To have something like this to start off your workday while you are driving to the place where you are going to serve it’s citizens, is just very frustrating.”
Dana Cook, the owner of the McDonald’s, pushed back against the officer’s claims after launching a probe of her own and reviewing store footage she said cleared her employees of any wrongdoing.
“My McDonald’s [staffers] 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 obtained by KSNT News.“We thoroughly reviewed our security video from every angle, which clearly shows the words were not written by one of our employees.”
So far, no criminal charges against the officer have been filed.
“I truly hope the former officer of the Herington Police Department that did this understands the magnitude of the black eye this gives the law enforcement profession from coast to coast,” said Hornaday.
News of the hoax sparked a wave of criticism online.
If “this is what police will do just for a few seconds in the spotlight. Imagine what they do in court when their job is on the line,” one Twitter user wrote.
“Weird how A Junction City McDonald’s has a more competent investigative team than Herington Police Chief Brian Hornaday,” another chimed in.
A fellow critic pointed to what he saw as a double standard.
“It’s funny how when a police officer murders someone people are all ‘we don’t know the full story,’” they opined, “But when a cop alleges something happened to them, we take it at face value even though they’ve shown to be liars.”
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