UPDATE 8:30 p.m. Monday
A story involving a Herington Police Officer who claimed he received a coffee with an expletive on it from a Junction City McDonald’s was fabricated.
The story gained national attention over the weekend after Herington Police Chief Brian Hornaday shared the photo to his Facebook page. Surveillance video provided by McDonald’s management to police showed no evidence that any employee wrote the expletive note on the cup. In a news conference Monday, Hornaday noted the officer has since resigned over the matter.
Hornaday has called it a “black-eye on the law enforcement community.”
Hornaday declined to release the name of the 23-year-old former officer, who had been employed with the department for two months and spent five years as a military officer for the U.S. Army.
In a written statement Monday, McDonald’s Owner/Operator Dana Cook said, “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.”
UPDATE: (AP Wire) McDonald’s is disputing allegations that a Kansas police officer was handed a coffee with an expletive and the word “pig” written on it when he stopped there on his way to work.
Junction City McDonald’s owner Dana Cook said in a written statement that the store has video showing it wasn’t their employee.
The coffee situation gained attention after Herington Police Chief Brian Hornaday said in a Facebook post, which has since been removed, that one of his officers was handed the cup with the obscenity Saturday when he went through the McDonald’s drive through in Junction City, which is near Fort Riley.
Geary County authorities said they planned to have coffee Monday morning at the Junction City McDonald’s.
The move comes after a Herington police officer reported Saturday he received a coffee cup from the restaurant with an expletive written on it. Herington Police Chief Brian Hornaday shared the image on social media Saturday stating the officer was offered a free lunch after the incident. Hornaday went on to say he believes it’s likely the act of one person and not a representation of the company. The officer who received the coffee with the expletive is said to be a US Veteran who continues to serve his community. The unedited image from Hornaday’s post is shared below.
The restaurant is investigating the incident internally.
The Geary County Sheriff’s Office says the Sheriff and some of his command staff will show their faith in McDonald’s management and the community by visiting for a cup of coffee this morning.
The Geary County Sheriff’s Office has released this statement in regards to the matter:
“The Geary County Sheriff’s Office’s involvement in the incident is merely to state this is not indicative of the community of Junction City, Geary County, Kansas. The Geary County Sheriff’s Office is standing by its original statement in reference to the incident at McDonald’s. It is saddening to see this incident in our community no matter who wrote on the officer’s cup. The incident has garnered national news and has given those outside our community a foothold into the relationship between the law enforcement agencies here in Geary County, Kansas and the community we consider ourselves members of. After the Headlines have faded from the national media outlets, we realize it is us as a community that have to constantly work together in order to properly serve the community. We all live here, work here, have families here, and raise our children here. It is the mission of the Men and Women of the Geary County Sheriff’s Office to safeguard the lives, Constitutional Rights and property of those in our community by fairly and impartially enforcing state and local laws. We will perform our public safety and custodial duties with honor, courage, compassion and fidelity while holding ourselves accountable to the community we serve. We will uphold the Constitution of the State of Kansas, and the Constitution of the United States of America. WE will stand together as a community while the incident investigation is completed.”