UPDATE: A report from NYPD sources indicates that the whole situation was created by police officials who over-exaggerated the incident.
New York, NY – The New York Police Department (NYPD) announced early Tuesday morning that the uniformed officers who got sick from drinking milkshakes at a Shake Shack in Manhattan were not intentionally poisoned.
“After a thorough investigation by the NYPD’s Manhattan South investigators, it has been determined that there was no criminality by Shake Shack’s employees,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison tweeted just after 4 a.m. Tuesday.
The police union released a statement at 10:47 p.m. on Monday night that said NYPD officers assigned to the protest detail had been sickened by something they ingested from a fast food restaurant.
“This evening, several [police officers] assigned to a protest detail in lower Manhattan took meal at the Shake Shack location on Broadway and Fulton Street,” the NYPD Police Benevolent Association (PBA) President Pat Lynch said. “At some point during their meal period, the [police officers] discovered that a toxic substance, believed to be bleach, had been placed in their beverages.”
“The contamination was not discovered until the MOS [Members of Service] had already ingested a portion of their beverages,” Lynch added.
New York City Detectives Endowment Association Presidents Paul DiGiacomo released a statement saying that three officers were poisoned.
All three officers, who are usually assigned to precincts in the Bronx, were expected to recover.
Just a few hours later, Chief Harrison made the announcement that it had all been a mistake.
Police sources told WPIX that that the investigation had determined that the shake machine had been improperly cleaned and a residue of a cleaning agent or bleach was still inside it when the shakes were made for the officers.
Shake Shack hasn’t provided any details about what happened to make the officers sick, but implied they were still investigating in a tweet early on June 16.
Our team is working hard to get the full picture. In the meantime, we’re relieved to hear the officers are all okay. https://t.co/rjJYFSYjZc
— SHAKE SHACK (@shakeshack) June 16, 2020
“Our team is working hard to get the full picture,” the company wrote. “In the meantime, we’re relieved to hear the officers are all okay.”
But not all of NYPD is satisfied by the conclusions reached by the police department overnight.
Officers remain on edge after more than 250 NYPD officers were hurt during the ongoing anti-police protests that followed 46-year-old George Floyd’s death while he was being arrested by the Minneapolis police on May 25, WPIX reported.
One NYPD officer told The Police Tribune that he wants to know more about the investigation of what happened at the Shake Shack on Fulton Street.
“I want to know what unit investigated and I want to know how much input came from the Mayor’s Office,” he said. “It’s rather suspect that the only people who got sick were uniformed police officers, and no one else.”
The officer said he thinks New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio would make every effort to cover up an attack on the police if he could.
“An investigation can get closed this quick, but is it that they cannot prove criminality or that there was no criminality?” he asked. “It’s a little strange that it happens this quick and all of a sudden, NYPD is saying ‘nope, nope, nothing to see here.’”
“I would love to know what the real story is,” the police source told The Police Tribune. “If it was half the restaurant got sick or 10 people got sick, I might believe it. But it only happened to cops? I want to know why it only happened to cops.”
No other Shake Shack customers have come forward to report receiving a contaminated shake, FOX News reported.
The NYPD officer told The Police Tribune the explanation officers are being given doesn’t make any sense to him.
“How is the level of incompetence so high at Shake Shack that that much cleaning fluid is left in a milkshake machine?” he asked incredulously.
The officer told The Police Tribune that he won’t be eating at Shake Shack in the future.