In a landscape where facts are seemingly secondary to clicks, it’s easy to be lured into a world of “make-believe” that rewards imaginary victim status, especially considering the perpetrators of some of the most outrageous hoaxes in recent memory that have yet to face consequences. However, this time around is a bit different for a young Herrington, Kansas police officer, who resigned, or was asked to resign only hours after admitting “fabricating” a story about a McDonald’s employee writing some less than pleasant words on his coffee cup one morning in December.
On Dec. 30, 2019, Herrington, Kansas police officer took to Facebook after leaving an area McDonald’s to share a photo of his coffee cup with the words “f*cking pig” written on it. His post quickly gained traction, promoting a collaborative investigation into the incident between McDonalds and Herrington police chief, Brian Hornaday. The investigation concluded that the nasty words were not written on the cup by any of the McDonalds employees. The young officer, who has not been named, stuck to his story briefly before admitting he wrote the words in a poor attempt at a joke. This, of course, comes on the heels of a somewhat similar story surrounding a Starbucks employee and rude behavior towards law enforcement.
Starbucks is in the news perhaps more than any of us would like them to be, and in this particular incident from late Nov., 2019 an employee in Oklahoma was fired for addressing a police officer in a demeaning manner via order label. On the bright side, this does seem to be a two-way street as far punishment is concerned, no matter how petty the offense – but on the downside, it exposes a lack of respect, not only for law enforcement but for the truth in general.
This trend continues behind a long list of hoaxes from famous Hollywood actors, activists and politicians all the way to middle American public and private sector employees. Even if this was meant as a joke on the part of the Kansas police officer, it was completely tone-deaf, lacking situational awareness and shows that perhaps he wasn’t the best man for the job. Hopefully, there will be lessons learned by all involved parties and the public in general by these incredibly petty offenses.