NYPD investigates possible poisoning of three officers at Shake Shack

NYPD investigates possible POISONING of three officers at a Shake Shack after their ‘shakes were filled with bleach’ while they were assigned to watch the protests

  • Three NYPD officers were fell ill after drinking milkshakes from Shake Shack
  • Sources said it’s believed the shakes were contaminated with bleach 
  • The three cops were rushed to hospital where they are being treated
  • The officers were from a Bronx precinct, assigned to protester detail
  • The NYPD has not officially confirmed whether the officers were poisoned
  • Officer associations claimed that the cops were ‘intentionally poisoned’ 
  • Police collected evidence from the restaurant and from the garbage outside 
  • Employees at the Shake Shack in Downtown Manhattan were questioned
  • Three employees – two men and a woman – were seen being taken to a police van 
  • It’s unclear if any arrests had been made, but they were not wearing handcuffs 
  • Samples of the milkshakes and have been taken for testing 
  • The alleged poisoning comes as anti-cop sentiment increases as George Floyd protests continue and demands to defund the police grow 

The NYPD are investigating a potential hate crime, in the suspected poisoning of three officers at a New York Shake Shack. 

The officers – members of the Bronx’s 42nd Precinct assigned to protest detail – had fallen sick after consuming food from the Shake Shack on Broadway and Fulton Street in downtown Manhattan Friday night at about 8.30pm.

It is believed that one of the restaurant employee may have contaminated the officer’s milkshakes with bleach. 

The three officers were rushed to Bellevue Hospital where they are being treated. They are currently in stable condition, according to reports. 

Three police officers were hospitalized after falling sick after drinking shakes from a Manhattan Shake Shack, believed to have been contaminated with bleach. Officers are seen standing over evidence (circled) outside the Shake Shake after the incident Monday night 

Police spent several hours collecting evidence at the scene. They are seen bagging up a Shake Shack to-go bag, apparently taken from the restaurant

The officers had eaten at the Shake Shack, located on Fulton Street (pictured at top right), Monday night while assigned to protest detail

The Shake Shack tweeted that it was cooperating with the police investigation and were ‘horrified’ by the reports that the officers were ‘injured’

Sources told the New York Daily News that prior to falling ill, the officers noticed their shakes tasted strange. One of the officers reportedly noticed a ‘clump of something’ in their cups, while another smelled bleach.     

Officers spent several hours collecting evidence at the Shake Shack. Samples of the milkshakes have been taken for testing. 

NYPD officers were also seen searching through garbage cans outside the building where the Shake Shack is located, while standing guard over milkshakes – believed to be the ones the officers threw out after drinking them – on the sidewalk. 

Sources told CBS New York that employees at the downtown Shake Shack are being interviewed but no arrests have been made. 

The New York Daily News reported that shortly after midnight, three Shake Shack workers – two men and a woman – were escorted to a NYPD van belonging to the ill officers’ 42nd Precinct. 

It’s unclear if they were under arrest, but they were not handcuffed when taken to the van.  

Fellow NYPD officers were seen visiting the officers who had fallen ill at the hospital Friday

The NYC Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association tweeted about the alleged poisoning Monday

The NYC PBA released this statement claimed that it suspected bleach had been added to milk shakes ordered by three policemen at the downtown Manhattan Shake Shack

The Detective’s Endowment Association said the cops were ‘intentionally poisoned’

Investigators found a bottle of cleaning fluid that had been used to clean the shake machines, but that it was unclear if the officers had been purposely targeted, the newspaper reported. 

The NYPD has officially only said that the officers fell ill, possibly after drinking milkshakes from the restaurant, were taken to the hospital and that they are investigating the incident, NBC 4 reported. 

There was no official mention of bleach or other disinfectant products being a poisoning agent.  

Despite this, the NYC’s Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association issued a statement warning officers to beware of food they have not prepared themselves and noting that ‘a toxic substance, believed to be bleach’ had been put in the officers’ drinks. 

‘When NYC police officers cannot even take meal without coming under attack, it is clear that environment in which we work has deteriorated to a critical level. We cannot afford to let our guard down for even a moment,’ they said on Twitter.

The NYC Detective’s Endowment Association also tweeted a warning to its members, saying that the officers were ‘intentionally poisoned’ by at least one Shake Shack worker. 

‘Tonight, three of our fellow officers were intentionally poisoned by one or more workers at the Shake Shack at 200 Broadway in Manhattan. Fortunately, they were not seriously harmed,’ the organization wrote. 

On Monday night, the official Shake Shack Twitter account wrote: ‘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.’

Social media users questioned Shake Shack’s use of the term ‘injured,’ noting that if bleach was actually the substance added to the police officers’ shakes, it should have been called attempted murder. 

The alleged poisoning incident comes as anti-police sentiment has been rising in the US, following the high-profile deaths of African-Americans at police hands. 

In the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis on May 25, who died in police custody after a cop kneeled on his neck, cities across the country have seen daily marches, some of which have involved violent clashes between protesters and police, demanding justice for victims including. 

On Sunday at about 9.30pm, Richmond Police Department officers in Virginia said they were attacked by protesters while in their official vehicles. Video showed protesters blocking the police vehicle’s movement and throwing things at the car, as well as assaulting the officers through an open window, NBC 12 reported.  

NYPD surveillance cameras shot video footate of Urooj Rahman, 31 (pictured) allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail at a cop vehicle parked outside the 88th Precinct in Brooklyn’s

Samantha Shader, 27, is seen Shader is seen allegedly lighting a Molotov cocktail

The footage later shows Shader throwing the lit, homemade explosive at a cop vehicle

Similar scenes have played out in other parts of the country over the last few weeks since Floyd’s death. 

Three protesters, including two lawyers, in New York City now face life in prison after being indicted for throwing Molotov cocktails – acts caught on video – at police cars as protests turned into riots the weekend following Floyd’s death. 

The backlash came after multiple videos of police abuses. 

Most recently, two Atlanta police officers made headlines after fatally shooting black man Garret Rolfe twice in the back after police were called to remove him from the premises of a local Wendy’s. 

When approached by police, Rolfe, who was found intoxicated and asleep behind the wheel of his car at the Wendy’s, grabbed one of the officer’s Taser guns and had pointed it at the officer while running away, prior to being shot.  

In recent weeks, protesters have started calling for the defunding of police departments, and seeking to replace official police with community policing. 

The pressure has led police departments to begin changing their policing methods, including the banning of chokeholds during arrests. 

The NYPD on Monday announced it it will eliminate its plain-clothes, anti-crime unit, which had been involved in some of the city’s most notorious shootings and reassign its 600 officers to detective work and neighborhood policing, among other areas. 

The decision comes as the NYPD has faced increasing scrutiny over tactics police have used against protesters, as well as people who have failed to observe social distancing orders during the coronavirus pandemic.  

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