Some police officers have been getting the side-eye from the Internet recently as claims of tampering regarding their food and drinks have repeatedly turned out to be false.
We had "Molly McMuffin," "The Shake Shack Sheriffs," "Officer Arby's," "The McChicken Chief," and now this officer and his "tamppuccino." Twitter really should get paid for coming up with some of these nicknames.
In this most recent incident, a plain-clothed police officer went to a Starbucks location inside of a Target store. The officer said he ordered a frappuccino and paid using his police union credit card, got his drink, and then left.
If all of your Starbucks locations are independent, you may not have an understanding about how the Starbucks locations inside of Target are set up. Typically, one or two employees work behind a low counter. Drinks are made there, where the customer can see everything.
Usually there is nowhere an employee can go and be out of the line of customer sight while also making the drinks. This will be important later.
This setup is pretty standard, though some get fancier lighting and more space with a larger selection.
Jeff Gritchen/Digital First Media/Orange County Register via Getty Images
The officer claims he went about his business sipping his drink. About halfway through he noticed something strange and fished out what he decided was "a used tampon." The officer then says he angrily went inside and confronted the staff, then filed a police report.
LAPD came out, questioned people, pulled surveillance video, etc. The LA Police Protective League issued a statement admonishing the "assault" well before any investigation was actually done.
"This disgusting assault on a police officer was carried out by someone with hatred in their heart and who lacks human decency. We hope they are publicly exposed, fired, arrested, and prosecuted for their cowardly and repugnant actions."
Meanwhile, FOX reporter Bill Melugin ran the story, and image, on Twitter.
BREAKING: Sources tell me an off duty LAPD officer allegedly found a tampon halfway thru his Frappuccino at a Starb… https://t.co/6Qkoi4OVgO— Bill Melugin (@Bill Melugin)1592883474.0
People found the entire incident suspicious. The timing didn't make sense. The lack of opportunity to fiddle with his drink didn't make sense. The fact that the officer was plain-clothed and the only thing to identify them as police was the card they used -- a card which employees typically can't see -- makes it seem pretty much impossible that the employees would have known he was an officer in the first place, and would thus have had no reason for the "assault."
People were quick to question the officer's version of events.
Several people questioned whether the reporter should have actually run with this story based on the total lack of evidence and the number of times this sort of thing has been proven to be totally made up. There was, however, the other glaringly obvious issue that people with a vagina were quite happy to point out.
That is absolutely not a tampon.
So we've got people telling the media this was definitely not going to end well. We've got women rolling their eyes and laughing about how obviously not-a-tampon the "thing" is. We've got a public who is suspicious from the get-go considering the incidents mentioned earlier.
Still, the FOX reporter (and a shocking number of other outlets) ran with the story ... until it slammed right into the conclusion everyone saw coming.
Twitter is not afraid to hit you with a "told you so."
We have established that the "object" was not a tampon. We have established that the video shows the baristas did nothing to the drink. We do not know what the object in the drink was or if the officer put it there themselves, though that seems to be the commonly held belief right now.
All we do know for sure is that pretty much anyone who has ever menstruated could have told everyone involved that this is not a tampon. In fact, they did. Repeatedly. With demonstrations of what actual tampons do in liquid.
It's almost like listening to the public would have saved everyone a lot of time and embarrassment.