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Shake Shack manager says officers defamed him with accusations of poisoning their drinks

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A manager for Shake Shack is suing New York police officers, saying they defamed him with false accusations that he poisoned their drinks last year. 

Marcus Gilliam was accused by three police officers on June 15 of poisoning their drinks, leading him to be detained and questioned for hours, NBC News reported Tuesday.

The New York Police Department (NYPD) investigated and found there to be “no criminality” in the behavior of the Shake Shack employees.

Gilliam is now suing the NYPD, the city of New York, the Police Benevolent Association (PBA) and the Detectives’ Endowment Association (DEA).

The lawsuit says three officers mobile-ordered milkshakes after working a George Floyd protest and the milkshakes were ready when they arrived, according to NBC. 

When the officers complained to Gilliam the drinks tasted weird, Gilliam apologized and offered them vouchers for free food and shakes, which the officers accepted before they left. However, the officers later told their sergeant the drinks were poisoned. 

Police showed back up at the store, shut it down, made Gilliam show them how the drinks were made and then took him in for questioning for hours, the suit said. 

After the officers went to the hospital and showed no signs of illness and the shakes were tested to contain no bleach, the manager was cleared, but the two police unions had already posted on Twitter that officers were poisoned with bleach.

“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 police officers, according to the suit.

The lawsuit claims people came to the store and taunted Gilliam because of the tweets, the outlet says. 

Gilliam says he suffered “emotional and psychological damages” and is asking for an unspecified amount.

The Hill has reached out to Shake Shack, the NYPD, DEA and PBA for comment.

NBC News reports it is unclear if Gilliam is still employed by Shake Shack.

Tags NBC News NYC Shake Shack Twitter

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