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Kansas Officer Fired After McDonald's Coffee Hoax

An officer at the center of a false account has been relieved of duty, according to Herington Police Chief Brian Hornaday. The officer had previously claimed to have received a coffee cup with an expletive and a pejorative term for police. At the time of the initial report, Hornaday called it “a black eye” for the town in which the incident was purported to have taken place. However, after officers reviewed the relevant security footage, they were able to determine that the incident never took place.

Hornaday said, “In the 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. This is now, absolutely, a black eye on law enforcement.”

During his questioning, the officer who fabricated the account said he did so as a joke. Hornaday says that is no excuse: “We can see that how something so serious can get so out of control very, very quickly. The most important thing that could have been done--and should have been done in this scenario--would be to come forward immediately … however, unfortunately that was not done.”

Possible Preaching Angle: Even pranks that seem small can have long-lasting consequences. Anyone in a position of public trust, like that of a peace officer, has the responsibility to exercise good judgment and refrain from anything that erodes trust in the community.

Source: Jason Tidd, “Kansas police officer fabricated McDonald’s coffe cup story ‘as a joke,’ chief says,” The Wichita Eagle (Dec. 20, 2019)

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