A former New York Shake Shack manager has filed a lawsuit against the Detectives’ Endowment Association, the Police Benevolent Association, and about 20 unnamed officers accusing them of false arrest and defamation.
Marcus Gilliam and other employees were accused by officers of serving them poisoned milkshakes last June. In a lawsuit filed Monday, Gilliam said the subsequent interrogation caused him “emotional and psychological damages and damage to his reputation.”
Three officers complained that their shakes made them sick and had a bitter and unusual taste. Two hours later, 20 officers approached the establishment and began to treat the store as a crime scene, The New York Times reported.
As the investigation unfolded, police unions announced on Twitter that officers were intentionally attacked.
“Tonight, three of our fellow officers were intentionally poisoned by one or more workers at the Shake Shack,” the detectives’ union tweeted. “Fortunately, they were not seriously harmed.”
The Police Benevolent Association made a similar post later alleging that the drinks were intentionally spiked with “a toxic substance, believed to be bleach or a similar cleaning agent.”
Several news organizations then reported that someone may have intentionally poisoned the officers.
Rodney Harrison, the Police Department’s chief of detectives at the time and now the chief of department, tweeted around 4 a.m. that the investigation found “no criminality” by the employees.
The Police Department referred questions about the case to the city’s Law Department, which said it plans to review the matter.
The detectives’ union declined to comment. The Police Benevolent Association did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Shake Shack did not respond to a request for comment.
Gilliam is no longer an employee of the company.
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