An employee at a McDonald's restaurant in O'Hara Township, Pennsylvania, wrote "#BlackLivesMatter" on the bag containing a police officer's order.
The hashtag refers to the political organization Black Lives Matter, which describes itself as "a chapter-based national organization working for the validity of Black life. #BlackLivesMatter is a call to action and a response to the virulent anti-Black racism that permeates our society."
Recent attacks on police -- such as the sniper shooting deaths of five law enforcement officers in Dallas on July 7 -- have escalated tensions between police departments and the Black Lives Matter movement.
The McDonald's incident happened on July 25, according to KDKA. Upon noticing the political statement on the bag, the officer returned her order to the restaurant demanding a refund, which she received.
Although the O’Hara Township police had no statement on the matter, the owner of the McDonald’s franchise issued the following statement:
"We are looking into this matter and will take all appropriate steps to ensure high standards of customer service. All customers, including local law enforcement officers who protect and serve our communities, are welcome in our restaurant."
In contrast, another restaurant chain, Starbucks, has actively encouraged spreading the organization's message. When ordering, many Starbucks customers have given their name as “Black Lives Matter,” which the baristas then yell out when the order is ready.
It started in July, when Starbucks customer Lex Cross posted his Facebook status a photo of his Starbucks receipt, which showed his name as being "#BlackLivesMatter." The post was subsequently shared almost 50,000 times, reports The Huffington Post.
Other Starbucks customers followed suit, as did some employees. One customer tweeted, “Currently at Starbucks ... 2 black female customers had black lives mattter written on their cup. And the barista yelled “Black Lives Matter!!”
An employee tweeted: "43 people during my shift at work (starbucks) told me their name was black lives matter for their drink/food orders today."
Critics of the Black Lives Matter movement have suggested “All Lives Matter” as an alternative slogan.
In response, President Barack Obama has said, “I think the reason that the organizers used the phrase ‘black lives matter’ was not because they were suggesting nobody else’s lives matter," as quoted by the website Think Progress. "What they were suggesting was, there is a specific problem that is happening in the African-American community that’s not happening in other communities. And that is a legitimate issue that we’ve got to address.”