A senior law enforcement officer from Oklahoma was outraged after receiving a hot beverage with the word “pig” printed on it on Nov. 28.
Kiefer Chief of Police Johnny O’Mara had an unpleasant surprise when one of his officers delivered his Vermont hot chocolate from Starbucks. He could not believe his eyes when he saw the cup label did not have any officer name printed on it—rather the word, “pig.”
“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,)” O’Mara said on Facebook. “This is what he gets for being nice.”
KTUL reported all five cups the officer ordered had the word “pig” printed on them.
O’Mara criticized staff at the coffeehouse chain for being inconsiderate towards many officers who sacrificed being with the families to keep the city safe on Thanksgiving Day.
“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 said. “Our dispatchers are under-appreciated as it is.”
He described the message on the cup as “just another little flag” signalling a “contemptuous, roaring and riotous” element in a “misanthropic” society.
“[I]t vilifies those who stand for what’s right and glorifies the very people who would usher in the destruction of the social fabric,” the police chief said. “It’s another tiny pinprick into the heart of men and women who are asking themselves more often: ‘why am I doing this?’”
When O’Mara called the responsible Starbucks store to complain he was disappointed to hear they would only “replace the coffee with a correct label.”
“The proverb ‘fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me’ came to mind,” he said.
He believes the coffee shop should refrain from making social commentaries and “just pour the coffee.” He also asked officers who would like to avoid grief to buy selfserve coffee instead.
“Are we at a point where a task as simple as pouring an exceptionally overpriced cup of coffee is so complicated that it cannot be accomplished without ‘expressing oneself?’” he said. “If you’re looking for coffee use a place where you pour your own and you’re certain of what’s in it.”
Starbucks Spokesman Jory Mendes apologized on behalf of the store and agreed the incident was “absolutely unacceptable.”
“We are deeply sorry to the law enforcement officer who experienced this. We have also apologized directly to him and we are working to connect with the police chief as well as to express our remorse,” Mendes told KTUL. “This language is offensive to all law enforcement and is not representative of the deep appreciation we have for police officers who work tirelessly to keep our communities safe.”