Marcus Gilliam, the Shake Shack shift manager who was accused of poisoning the milkshakes of three New York City police officers last year, has filed a lawsuit against the cops and their police unions.
According to NBC News, Gilliam said that after receiving their orders, the three officers immediately complained about the taste of their milkshakes, which had been ordered on a mobile app.
Gilliam reportedly apologized, believing they disliked the flavor of the shakes they had ordered: cherry, strawberry, and vanilla, and offered them something else or free meal vouchers.
The officers chose to accept the vouchers for free meals.
Two hours later, 20 officers and a sergeant returned to the store and claimed it to be a crime scene, accusing Gilliam of intentionally poisoning the officers with a “toxic substance.”
According to the lawsuit and a report, Gilliam was told to show officers how the milkshakes are made, and a sergeant asked him, “When did you add the bleach?”
Gilliam was also told the officers had been hospitalized and was taken to the police station and questioned for over an hour, where he said that he was “taunted” for putting bleach in the milkshakes.
After spending nearly three hours at the station, Gilliam was taken back to the restaurant.
The suit says that police tested the officers’ discarded shakes “and found no evidence of any breach or other toxic substances.”
Security footage from the restaurant also led to no proof of tampering with the drinks, the lawsuit says.
Despite this, an NYPD lieutenant emailed the Police Benevolent Association (PBA) and the Detectives’ Endowment Association (DEA) and claimed that the officers had gotten sick from the milkshakes.
The police union president, Patrick Lynch, reportedly tweeted that a toxic substance, possibly bleach, was mixed in the drinks.
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The police cleared the Shake Shack workers; however, the damage was already done, and the consequences were irreparable.
The false public accusations led to people going to the restaurant and taunting Gilliam, the suit says.
“Defendants Lynch, PBA, and DEA were grossly irresponsible in disseminating the tweets since there was no evidence whatsoever that plaintiff or his employees had poisoned,” the officers, according to the suit.
Gilliam’s suit accuses the officers and Lynch of defaming him, and he is currently seeking unspecified damages.