O’Mara contacted the Starbucks in Glenpool, Okla., to complain and was told the store would happily replace the beverage with a correct label — which was not the apology he had sought.
“The proverb ‘Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me’ came to mind,” he wrote on Facebook, attaching a photo of the mislabeled cup.
“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,” O’Mara said, attributing the “derogatory” remark to a broader contempt for law enforcement.
The “cup of coffee for a ‘pig,’ ” he said, was “another tiny pinprick into the heart of men and women who are asking themselves more often: ‘Why am I doing this?’ ”
Starbucks representative Jory Mendes called the incident “totally unacceptable” and “not representative of the deep appreciation we have of officers who work to keep our communities safe.”
“We are deeply sorry to the law enforcement officer who experienced this,” he told The Post early Friday afternoon, noting that Starbucks had launched an internal investigation and suspended the employee pending its outcome.
Hours later, the company announced in a statement that “the Starbucks partner who wrote this offensive word on a cup … is no longer a partner after this violation of company policy.”
“This language is offensive to all law enforcement,” the statement said, adding that Starbucks had apologized directly to the officer and to O’Mara, the police chief.
O’Mara could not immediately be reached for comment but told Tulsa ABC affiliate KJRH that the barista had apologized and said the label was a joke that was only meant to be seen by a colleague.
“Just pour the coffee, please,” wrote the police chief. “Are we at a point where a task as simple as pouring an exceptionally overpriced cup of coffee is so complicated that it cannot be accomplished without ‘expressing oneself?’ ”
He signed off the post thanking his officers for risking their lives over Thanksgiving. O’Mara continued, “Stay safe; go home.”
In a joint statement, the Kiefer Police Department and Starbucks said late Friday that they were “committed to using this regrettable incident as an opportunity to leverage our shared platforms to promote greater civility.”
The department and the company will be meeting “in the coming days … to begin discussing ways to work together, including a jointly hosted Coffee with a Cop event at Starbucks where local law enforcement can meet with baristas and members of the community to discuss the critical role dispatchers and police [officers] play in keeping our communities safe,” the statement said.
Starbucks added that it would work with other law enforcement agencies to “jointly look for educational opportunities for our partners across the United States to promote better understanding and respect.”