Burger King staff fired for mocking police officer
A group of fast food employees who insulted a police officer customer last week have been sacked after a Facebook post about the incident went viral.
The scandal began when officer Timo Rosenthal ordered lunch from a Burger King outlet in Clovis, New Mexico on August 9.
When he returned to his car and unwrapped his order, he found a crude sketch of a pig drawn on the wrapper.
The officer snapped a picture of the drawing and shared it to Facebook with the words "When you order food in uniform".
It was accompanied by the caption: "Well, while on lunch break (and in uniform) I ordered food at Burger King and received this. The patties were burnt and the burger was of very poor quality. Guess that was the last time I ate at Burger King in Clovis, NM (New Mexico)."
The post has since gone viral, attracting thousands of likes, shares and comments.
However, the stunt has received a mixed reaction on social media, with many slamming the nasty prank, which was variously described as "sad", "ugly" and "pathetic".
"Thank you for your service we need you men and women in our community, what a shame people can really act out like this!" one Facebook user wrote, while another added: "I want to apologize (sic) to you for these cowards and thank you for your service sir. Our world would not be safe without your service. Very disrepectful! Shame on those employees."
"I'm sorry that people are rude like that," another commented.
However, others also took the opportunity to criticise the police force.
"...police brutality ... is the 5th most common cause of death to young men in this country," one Facebook user wrote.
"You whined about this so much that you got five people fired. And by acting like that, you proved them completely right," another posted, while one simply wrote: "Toughen up, snowflake."
Burger King has identified five employees allegedly responsible for the drawing, and a spokesperson confirmed all had been sacked in a statement sent to Fox News.
"What occurred is unacceptable and not in line with our brand values," the statement reads.
"When made aware of the incident, the restaurant owner immediately reached out to the officer involved to apologise and terminated the team members involved.
"The restaurant is offering free meals to uniformed officers and will provide a catered lunch to the police department as a gesture of goodwill."
However, the chief of Clovis's police department told KRQE he was "disappointed" an officer had been treated in "a disrespectful and derogatory way".