GLENPOOL, Okla. (CNN) – A Starbucks barista who labeled an Oklahoma police officer’s coffee cup “PIG” has been fired, the company said in a statement.
Glenpool Police Chief Johnny O’Mara said it all started when one of his officers working on Thanksgiving went to pick up 5 coffees for dispatchers on duty. When he was leaving the store, another customer pointed out that the cups were labeled “PIG”. A photo of the cup was posted on social media where it quickly received lots of attention.
O’Mara says that the Starbucks employee responsible for the cup label apologized to him and explained why she wrote the label.
“She said that she did it on her own. I don’t think Starbucks prompted her to make the apology,” O’Mara said. “She took it upon herself to apologize. She said the reason she put the word ‘PIG’ down was because she wanted to play a joke on another barista.”
The employee told O’Mara that she wanted to see if the other barista would yell out “PIG” when she announced the order. She said it was not intended for the officer to see the label.
“None of us blame Starbucks, none of us are angry at Starbucks, we are a little disappointed in the employee,” O’Mara said.
Starbucks confirmed that the employee was fired, as the incident violated company policy.
“This language is offensive to all law enforcement and is not representative of the deep appreciation we have to police officers who work tirelessly to keep our communities safe,” Starbucks said in the statement.
The company also said in coming days, Starbucks will host a Coffee with a Cop event where local law enforcement can meet with baristas and members of the community to discuss their relationship and role.