(Natural News) Three New York Police Department (NYPD) police officers were poisoned at a Shake Shack on Broadway Monday night. According to a report by the Police Benevolent Association of New York City (NYC PBA), a toxic substance believed to be bleach had been placed in the beverages that the three officers had ordered.
“At some point during their meal period, the MOS discovered that a toxic substance, believed to be bleach, had been placed in their beverages,” read a statement from NYC PBA President Patrick Lynch, using an acronym for members of service. He added that the officers had not discovered that their beverages had been contaminated until after they had already ingested some of them.
The officers are currently receiving treatment at a hospital and are expected to recover.
Officers urged to exercise caution when buying food
In a statement posted online Monday night, Paul DiGiacomo, president of the Detectives’ Endowment Association, urged other officers to “not buy food from locations unknown to you.” He added that the incident showed that police officers were “under attack.”
The NYC PBA also shared a similar statement for its members to be careful in regards to any food items they purchase while on duty.
“All PBA members are advised to carefully inspect any prepared food items they purchase while on duty for possible contamination,” the statement said. “When New York City police officers cannot even take [a] meal without coming under attack, it is clear that [the] environment in which we work has deteriorated to a critical level.”
In response to the incident, Shake Shack tweeted that they were horrified at the incident and that they were working with police in their investigation.
We are horrified by the reports of police officers injured at our 200 Broadway Shack in Manhattan. We are working with the police in their investigation right now.
— SHAKE SHACK (@shakeshack) June 16, 2020
The poisoning comes as protests, sparked by the May 25 killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, continue to rage in cities across America.
In New York City, both activists and city officials have called for the police force to be defunded, with the funds instead spent on social services like housing such as low-income housing.
Mayor Bill de Blasio promised “intense change” at a press conference last week, proposing several ways to reform the NYPD. On June 12, the state banned the use of chokeholds by law enforcement and repealed a statute in its civil code that shielded police disciplinary records from public scrutiny.
At the federal level, Democrats in the House of Representatives have put forward a sweeping bill that would encourage more police accountability. Similar to what was done in New York state, the house bill bans chokeholds, similar to the one used on George Floyd, as well as no-knock warrants for drug cases. The Republican-led Senate is also expected to put forward its own version of the bill.
Police are under attack
Even as lawmakers look to address the policing issues that supposedly led to the riots, many in law enforcement are feeling as if they’re under attack.
In a speech last week, Police Benevolent Association of New York State President Mike O’Meara decried the vilification of police officers by the press and their abandonment by legislators.
“Stop treating us like animals and thugs, and start treating us with some respect,” said O’Meara. “That’s what we’re here today to say. We’ve been left out of the conversation.”
O’Meara then went on about how the media failed to mention how New York police officers had had millions of “overwhelmingly positive” interactions with their communities as well as the fact that several police officers have lost their lives since the riots began.
The union boss also decried the actions of the Minneapolis policeman involved in the death of George Floyd, saying that the union did not condone such actions. A teary-eyed O’Meara even held up his badge saying that it had not been stained by the actions of those officers, stating: “It’s still got its shine on it.”
“I’m proud to be a cop, and I’m going to continue to be proud to be a cop until the day I retire.”