Countries around the world are in action together to address rampant and systemic racism and brutality by law enforcement, spurred onward by an ever-increasing list of deaths at the hands of officers.
Sheriff's Deputy Stacy Talbert "just wanted to share that I hurt, too"—so she shared a video of herself crying because she had to wait for an Egg McMuffin. The now-viral video earned her nicknames like "Officer Karen" and "Molly McMuffin."
Deputy Talbert—who says she has worked in law enforcement for 15 years but as a deputy in McIntosh County, Georgia near Savannah for just four months—recently spoke out again to tell the world that people lost the whole point of the video. She is tired of people being mean.
Some have claimed Talbert is not in law enforcement based on social media responses from McIntosh County, Oklahoma and the police department of Richmond Hill, Georgia. Neither are the departments Talbert identified and McIntosh County, Georgia appears to have no social media presence.
That has not gone well, either.
The video is just over three minutes long. In it she laments the long wait she faced picking up a mobile order from McDonald's. The order, she says, was for an egg McMuffin, a hash brown and coffee.
When an employee showed up with only the coffee, Deputy Talbert told them to disregard the rest of the order as by now she was just too nervous to eat something she couldn't see being made.
Deputy Talbert cried over this "incident."
Here is the video:
Her post did see many supporters in the comments, but once it moved beyond her friend's list and into the public domain it found a much colder reception. People were quick to criticize Deputy Talbert's "manufactured oppression."
Deputy Talbert went through the drive-through to pick up an order that she did not place in the drive-thru. Deputy Talbert specifies that she is doing so in order to avoid other people paying for her meal, establishing that she is often met with those sort of acts of kindness.
Deputy Talbert explains that her wait was long and an employee had to double check what she ordered. That employee then asked her to pull forward to wait while they went to check on it.
This has happened to almost all of us while picking up fast food. Fast food establishments are incredibly under-staffed right now given that we are in the middle of a global pandemic.
Many of us regularly have to wait for our orders.
In the video, Deputy Talbert mentions that she was too nervous to eat something she couldn't see being made—but she was talking about a mobile order placed at a McDonald's. Watching the food being made was never an option.
Deputy Talbert says, while crying:
"I had my window down and that's all she hands me is the coffee. So I told her, I said, 'Don't bother with the food because right now I'm too nervous to take it'."
"It doesn't matter how many hours I've been up, it doesn't matter what I've done for anyone. Right now, I'm too nervous to take a meal from McDonald's because I can't see it being made."
Again, seeing her meal being made likely never would have been an option at McDonald's.
It probably wouldn't have been an option even had she gone inside and ordered at the counter. McDonald's, unlike establishments like Benihana, typically does not make a show of preparing the food.
Deputy Talbert ended the video in tears, saying she wasn't sure how much more she could take. Despite saying earlier she does mobile orders so no one pays for her food anymore, she added:
"I don't hear 'thank you' enough anymore."
Supporters claimed that Deputy Talbert was purposefully mistreated because she is in law enforcement. Even Donald Trump Jr. shared her video as an admonition against those who are "ungrateful" for law enforcement and an example of the kinds of mistreatment they face.
Supporters launched a campaign of harassment against fast food workers.
Twitter ... well ...
Deputy Talbert spoke up again, this time to NBC.
According to her, her video crying about McDonald's wasn't actually about McDonald's. She is now saying that she was in no way ever mistreated by the McDonald's workers.
In fact, she has been to that location more than 100 times and was always treated with kindness. Critics point to this as further evidence she knew she was never in any actual danger of anyone tampering with her food.
Talbert says she spoke with the owners and explained she was never mistreated by their staff. In fact, the reason she declined the food was because she was feeling suspicious lately.
The owners spoke to media outlets confirming Deputy Talbert was never denied service nor was she asked to wait any longer than average. Her declining the food was her choice and rooted in her mental distress, not anything the employees did.
Deputy Talbert agrees. However, she still stands by the video and by the caption she posted it with.
The caption read:
"Please share because no one should feel like this. Law enforcement or not, this is truly how we feel."
Now that the video has been shared and become a conservative talking point, Talbert is saying critics missed the point and are just mean. It was never about McDonald's according to Talbert.
The issue, she claims, was people just don't trust law enforcement. She makes the claim even though she admitted refusing the food was rooted in her suspicions, not in anything the McDonald's employees did.
Interestingly, Talbert seems to be fully cognizant of why people didn't take her video well.
Multiple black men have been found hung in trees recently (all ruled suicides, which experts agree is suspicious), people of color are being beaten and dying in law enforcement custody at an alarming rate, police have met anti-brutality protests with brutality—sometimes after officers have posed for "solidarity" photos with protesters.
Police departments in Georgia (where Deputy Talbert's McMuffin incident took place) are refusing to respond to calls unless they are for an officer down, essentially declining to serve the community and only serving other officers.
Still, Talbert thinks her McMeltdown was justified.
"It was completely selfish. Maybe that's insensitive. But if everyone else is saying what's going on with them. Why can't I? I just wanted to share that I hurt too."
Twitter, again, had some thoughts.
Maybe it's not the public that are missing the point.