An Oklahoma police officer reportedly visited a Starbucks on Thursday – the morning of Thanksgiving – to get beverages for some of his co-workers at the Kiefer Police Department who were working on the holiday, The Washington Post noted. According to a post made to Facebook by the Kiefer Police Chief Johnny O'Mara, the officer noticed that one of the cups in the order – a hot chocolate – had the word "PIG" written as the name on the drink's label.
"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," O'Mara said in the Facebook post.
Following the incident, a Starbucks spokesperson apologized, rebuked the incident, and said that the employee responsible for writing "pig" on the hot chocolate had been suspended amid an investigation by the company, though just a few hours later they announced that the barista – called a "partner" by the Seattle, Washington-based coffee chain, was no longer employed with Starbucks.
Per The Washington Post, when O'Mara contacted the store to complain about the "PIG" label on the hot chocolate, he was reportedly told that the store would replace the drink with one with a correct label, which was not satisfactory to O'Mara. O'Mara eventually got an apology from the barista, per The Washington Post, who reportedly claimed the label was a joke only meant to be seen by a colleague.
In his Facebook post, O'Mara attributed the incident to a more general growing contempt for law enforcement officers.
"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," O'Mara wrote about the incident.The incident occurs at a time when there is a growing concern over the behavior of police officers across the nation. As The Inquisitr previously reported, a police officer in Dallas, Texas was convicted of murdering her neighbor in his own home in a high-profile case that some claim is just one instance illuminating an abuse of power by law enforcement officers.
Online, reactions to the news were mixed. While some applauded Starbucks' decision to fire the barista over the incident, others were less convinced that the action was worthy of the individual losing their job.
"So they faced more consequences than those cops likely would have if they shot someone," one Twitter user said. "Cool society we have."
Still, others said Starbucks made the right call in firing the barista that wrote the term.
"As they should. Any derogatory name directed toward anyone is NOT customer service."
Starbucks and the Kiefer Police Department released a joint statement in which they said they hoped to use the "regrettable" incident in order to use their platforms to promote civility.