A New York City Shake Shack manager is suing the NYPD after officers falsely accused him of poisoning their milkshakes with bleach last year.
Marcus Gilliam filed his lawsuit in federal court on Monday seeking unspecified monetary damages for false arrest.
Gilliam was detained on June 15, 2020, after three NYPD officers stationed in the Bronx claimed that milkshakes they ordered via Shake Shack's app 'did not taste right' and suggested that the manager and his workers had intentionally tainted the drinks with bleach.
Two hours after the officers threw out the milkshakes, the Fulton Street Shake Shack was turned into a crime scene as Gilliam and other workers were placed in handcuffs.
Gilliam claims he was held in custody for six hours, interrogated for two hours and targeted in a smear campaign by the NYPD and its police union - even after hospital evaluations found no evidence the officers had been poisoned.
New York City Shake Shack manager Marcus Gilliam filed a lawsuit against the NYPD on Monday after officers falsely accused him of poisoning their milkshakes with bleach last year. Pictured: Officers stand alongside one of the allegedly tainted milkshakes as the Fulton Street Shake Shack was transformed into a crime scene on June 15, 2020
Even after Shake Shack was cleared of wrong doing, people continued to accuse Gilliam and his employees of attempting to poison the NYPD officers, as seen in the Twitter thread above
By 4am the next day, NYPD Chief Rodney Harrison tweeted that there was no criminality by Shake Shack employees, but the Police Benevolent Association (PBA) and the Detective Endowment Association had already gone on the offensive with damning public statements and tweets.
'In addition to being "liked" and "shared" thousands of times, thousands of individuals commented on the tweets expressing their disdain for (Gilliam),' the lawsuit states.
It further asserts that PBA President Pat Lynch, the PBA and the DEA 'were grossly irresponsible in disseminating the tweets, since there was no evidence whatsoever that (Gilliam) or his employees had poisoned (the officers) and because they never even got sick'.
NYPD PBA President Pat Lynch is seen speaking to the media last June after his officers falsely accused Gilliam of poisoning their milkshakes
An officer in a Police Benevolent Association jacket is seen investigating the alleged poisoning at the Fulton Street Shake Shack in a photo included in Gilliam's lawsuit
The DEA tweeted at the time: 'URGENT SAFETY MESSAGE 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.'
Lynch said in a statement that officers 'discovered that a toxic substance, believed to be bleach, had been placed in their beverages.'
'The contamination was not discovered until the (officers) had already ingested a portion of their beverages. They are currently at the hospital receiving treatment and are expected to recover,' Lynch said in the statement.
'When New York City 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.'
According to the lawsuit, officers were were examined by doctors and released without ever showing symptoms.
The NYPD PBA and DEA were quick to issue statements saying officers were intentionally poisoned, which turned out to be false
The incident took place as George Floyd protests and demonstrations decrying police brutality and racism took over the streets of the city, resulting in scuffles with officers and creating a sense of paranoia.
The lawsuit names Lynch, the PBA, the DEA, the officers who ordered the milkshakes, a 'NYPD Sergeant who stated When Did You Add The Bleach,' an 'NYPD Sergeant Who called in ESU,' and NYPD Officers JOHN DOE 1-20 (Names and Number of whom are unknown at this time) as well as the city of New York.
DailyMail.com contacted the NYPD and the unions for comment.