California (NBC) (06/25/20)— A Los Angeles police officer said he found a tampon in a Frappuccino he purchased at a Target Starbucks, but Target said it reviewed video footage and did not find any suspicious behavior.
The officer was off duty and in plainclothes when he ordered the drink, and used a police union credit card to pay, according to Fox 11 in Los Angeles, which first reported the claim Monday night.
Reporter Bill Melugin shared an image showing a cloth strip being held above a cup using a green straw.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which is investigating the case, declined to comment Wednesday on whether the complainant is a police officer, saying “that information is not being released” at this time.
Detectives from the Walnut/Diamond Bar Sheriff’s Station are investigating the allegation concerning the drink purchased from the Starbucks in Diamond Bar, Deputy Trina Schrader told NBC News.
According to Schrader, a 36-year-old white man said he purchased the drink at about 2:30 p.m. June 19. The Starbucks was located in a Target, and its workers are employees of the retail chain.
“All available video is being reviewed and detectives continue to conduct interviews to complete a thorough investigation,” she said Wednesday.
A spokeswoman for Target, Jacqueline DeBuse, said in a statement Wednesday: “We take this allegation seriously. We have reviewed video footage and have not found any suspicious behavior. We have shared the video with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and look forward to the conclusions of their investigation.”
The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union that represents the department’s rank-and-file officers, demanded action.
“This disgusting assault on a police officer was carried out by someone with hatred in their heart and who lacks human decency,” the union said in a statement. “We hope they are publicly exposed, fired, arrested, and prosecuted for their cowardly and repugnant actions.”
The episode comes days after three New York City police officers complained of feeling ill upon sipping shakes from a Shake Shack restaurant in Manhattan on the evening of June 15.
Some of the city’s police unions immediately claimed in social media postings that the officers were intentionally poisoned.
The Detectives’ Endowment Association said in a statement on Twitter that “three of our brothers in blue were intentionally poisoned by one or more workers.”
The Police Benevolent Association followed a short time later with a similar alert to members, writing that “a toxic substance, believed to be bleach” had been placed in the officers’ beverages.
But by morning, the police unions had taken down their statements after the department’s investigation concluded that it had found there was “no criminality” by Shake Shack’s employees.
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