The unidentified officer reportedly told investigators that it was just a joke that mushroomed out of control. The photo went viral when Herington Police Chief Brian Hornaday decided to post a picture of the coffee cup on the department’s Facebook page.
Hornaday also swore that his officer was above reproach, had the upmost integrity, and then blasted the alleged fast-food worker at the time.
However, Hornaday adopted a different attitude in his news conference Monday, admitting that the officer’s action represents “absolutely a black eye on law enforcement.”
“In (our) investigation we have found that McDonald’s and its employees did not have anything whatsoever to do with this incident, this was completely and solely fabricated by a Herington police officer who is no longer employed with our agency,” Hornady said, according to the New York Times.
The incident, the chief said, has been an “obvious violation of … public trust.”
Dana Cook, the owner of the McDonald’s, said in a written statement that the restaurant has security video that proved none of its employees wrote the words. Cook looked at the surveillance footage from multiple angles which unequivocally exonerated everyone at the McDonald’s store in Junction City, Kansas.
“Our job is solely to do this job with the utmost integrity because if you can’t trust the cops, who can you trust,” Hornaday said.
Despite the officer’s blatant lie and creation of a national cultural incident, he will escape any further punishment.