NEWTON, Kansas – The chief of the Newton Police Department Sunday said he is saddened by the actions of a person at a local Taco Bell restaurant where an employee there wrote the word “PIG” on food wrappers served to a police officer.
The event happened Saturday night in Newton when an officer received his food at the restaurant for himself and his fiancee. A photo of the wrapped food and a receipt showing the restaurant’s name were posted on a social media site by a person Chief Eric Murphy said was not connected to the department. From there, the photo and story went viral.
Murphy said the officer who received the food has been with the Newton Police Department for about a year, but that he had been a law enforcement officer with another agency in the past.
Murphy said he did not know if the food had been eaten.
Chief Murphy said the incident is a case where an individual did something without realizing it might have long-term consequences. He said it is “very disappointing and saddening that an individual would do something like this.”
Murphy, who said he was surprised how quickly the photo went viral, said his department and Taco Bell will be meeting Monday to develop a joint community event in the near future.
A statement released earlier by the Newton Police Department said the photo caused “strong emotions to be voiced in opposition to one of our local businesses. We do not support this sentiment.”
There is a photo depicting a derogatory term written on the food wrappers of one of our officers who stopped in to our local Taco Bell to pick up dinner for himself and his fiance last night. That photo was posted to social media by a person who is not connected with the Newton Police Department. The photo has gone viral causing strong emotions to be voiced in opposition to one of our local businesses. We do not support this sentiment.
The store manager is terribly apologetic of the actions of her employee and assures us the situation is being handled appropriately. A meeting this morning with the Senior Director of Operations yielded positive results, and we are actively working to develop a partnership with Taco Bell to host a community event in the near future. Details will be announced when available.
We understand the incident was the action of an individual, and do not hold ill will to Taco Bell or any of its employees (even the individual who wrote the message). We look forward to a long partnership with this local business, and sincerely hope this negative experience can be a catalyst for positive change.”