An off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer alleges that an employee working at a Starbucks in Diamond Bar, California put a tampon into his drink last Friday, specifically because he was a member of the police force. The incident was reported to the Sherriff’s Department, and is being investigated.
Word of the incident was first made public by local Fox reporter Bill Melugin, who shared a photo that the unnamed officer says is a tampon inside of his drink. Per Melugin, the officer believes that his drink was targeted because, while off duty and not in uniform, he paid with the drink using a police credit union debit card. The incident took place at a Starbucks-branded facility inside of a Target store, meaning the worker is technically a Target employee, though working under the Starbucks brand inside.
Twitter responded vociferously to the post, saying that a number of similar posts made by officers alleging abuse from restaurant employees end up being hoaxes, fabrications, or misunderstandings. Others questioned the veracity of the image itself.
BREAKING: Sources tell me an off duty LAPD officer allegedly found a tampon halfway thru his Frappuccino at a Starbucks in Diamond Bar on Friday. I’m told he used his police credit union debit card. Sheriff’s Dept. confirms they took a report & they’re now investigating. @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/HdLTreNuur— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) June 23, 2020
Recently a Shake Shack in New York City came under fire when officers alleged that someone had spiked their milkshakes with a cleaning chemical; it was later revealed that the milkshake machine had recently been cleaned, and that none of the employees had conspired against the officers in any way. What’s more, the New York City officers were later revealed to have never even actually gotten sick in the first place.
Nevertheless, the LAPD police union responded with a scorching statement to Fox LA, saying:
This disgusting assault on a police officer was carried out by someone with hatred in their heart and who lacks human decency. We hope they are publicly exposed, fired, arrested, and prosecuted for their cowardly and repugnant actions.
The Los Angeles Sherriff’s Department’s Walnut station is investigating the incident further, and may have pulled surveillance tape from the stand. Both Target and Starbucks are said to be helping with the investigation.
In an update on Tuesday, Target says that it has seen the surveillance footage, and has “not found any suspicious behavior.”
The Vice site Motherboard, meanwhile, did a bit of its own investigating, saying that employees would have a hard time even seeing the police credit union debit card in real time because they no longer handle payments directly as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — to say nothing of also, in full view of customers, finding a moment to put a tampon into a drink.