Illustration for article titled No, Shake Shack did not poison NYPD officers
Photo: Nhat V. Meyer (Getty Images)

The last few weeks have been a roller coaster for the city of New York, but things took an even more bizarre turn last night when two of the New York Police Department (NYPD) unions—the Detective Endowment’s Association (DEA) and the Police Benevolent Association (PBA)—tweeted false claims that three police officers were intentionally poisoned by the fast food chain Shake Shack.

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While the tweet from the Detective Endowment’s Association has since been deleted, WNYC news blog Gothamist reports that the association posted, at least in part, “Tonight, three of our brothers in blue were intentionally poisoned by one or more workers at the Shake Shack at 200 Broadway in Manhattan.”

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This is not true. A subsequent investigation by the NYPD found no criminal wrongdoing and prompted a tweet from Rodney Harrison, the NYPD Chief of the Detectives Bureau, who wrote, “After a thorough investigation by the NYPD’s Manhattan South investigators, it has been determined there was no criminality by shake shack’s employees.”

As for why the Police Benevolent Association was so quick to post that its officers were deliberately poisoned, the allegation seems to be in line with the sort of fear-stoking rhetoric that’s often featured on the NYC PBA Twitter feed, which tends to depict the city as a violence-scarred cesspool. Shake Shack, on the other hand, seems to be playing it cool, neither blaming the DEA and PBA for the false accusations nor attempting to leverage the circumstances to promote its own business. Which, you know, is maybe the approach that the NYPD should consider.

Jacob Dean is a food and travel writer and psychologist based in New York. He likes beer, less traveled airports, and is allergic to grasshoppers (the insect, not the mixed drink.)

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