Starbucks has fired an employee who gave a police officer a cup of coffee that had “PIG” as the name printed on the label after an investigation into the incident, the company said Friday.
“The Starbucks partner who wrote this offensive word on a cup used poor judgement and is no longer a partner after this violation of company policy,” said a company spokesperson in a statement.
Kiefer, Okla., Police Chief Johnny O’Mara said in a Thursday Facebook post that one of his officers went to Starbucks on Thanksgiving to buy drinks for dispatchers who were working during the holiday. When the officer received the order, the cups had “PIG” printed where the customer name typically goes, O’Mara added.
“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 wrote.
The Starbucks spokesperson called the incident “absolutely unacceptable” and apologized to the officer in a statement. The company also said it apologized to the officer directly.
“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,” the spokesperson said.
O’Mara said that the employee has also apologized to the officer.
“She said the reason she put the word pig down was because she wanted to play a joke on another barista,” he said, according to Oklahoma TV station WKBN 27. “Her intention was to see if the barista would yell out ‘pig’ when they announced that the order was ready. She said that it was not intended for the officer to see the word pig.”