BROOKHAVEN: A viral social media hoax about a supposed Starbucks employee has lead to an investigation by the Brookhaven Police Department.
In the post, which originally appeared in a Facebook group called “White People Vs. Black People (The Orginal),” a person who said they were an employee of an Atlanta location of the coffee chain named Shanell Rivers claimed that she was targeting white customers by tainting their foot and drinks.
The allegations included spitting in an older woman’s macchiato, putting blood on a man’s bagel, and sneaking dog poop into a 4-year old’s hot chocolate.
A screenshot of the post began to go viral on Twitter, with multiple people sending it to Starbuck’s Twitter account asking them to respond to the allegations.
The outrage led to a Starbucks in Brookhaven to close a few hours early after threats were made to the store, the Washington Post reported.
Starbucks has responded on Twitter by saying that the company has never had a partner or employee by the name of Shanell Rivers and that they are “working with local authorities to determine how these fake posts were created and circulated.”
Major Brandon Gurley of the Brookhaven Police Department said that the posting is currently under investigation and that they are working with the coffee company and the local chain.
Nobody by the name of Shanell Rivers works for Starbucks. These posts are fake. We are working with local authorities to determine how these fake posts were created and circulated.
— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) January 9, 2018
“We are working to identify the true identity of the person or persons responsible for the postings so that we can better understand their motives,” Gurley said.
Officials say they hope to have more information in the future.