A Georgia sheriff's deputy went viral this week after posting a video in which she broke down in tears and begged the public to give law enforcement "a break."
"I don't know how much more I can take," she said with tears in her eyes as she sat in her police car.
So, what prompted such an emotional response? A delayed McMuffin order.
Stacy Talbert, more commonly known as "Officer Karen" or "Molly McMuffin," has been criticized and mocked across social media in the days since posting the video. Many people couldn't help but laugh at her unwarranted meltdown, while others questioned whether she had the mental stability to be in law enforcement. Talbert told BuzzFeed News her years on the force proved she could handle the job, and insisted her emotional response demonstrated her compassion.
"I was hired by my sheriff’s office to do a job, and they knew when they hired me that I was stable enough to do the job without an issue and I’ve been doing the job for 15 years," she told the outlet. "It was exactly how every single officer feels, and if they don’t feel compassion or emotion, if they don’t cry over anything, I promise you that is not the officer that you want on the street."
Talbet reiterated that many of her critics missed the point of the video, claiming her emotional response was not about the McMuffin, but the anxiety that comes with being a member of law enforcement.
"It really had nothing to do with McDonald’s and the food. That was just what triggered it," she said. "This feeling we feel in law enforcement constantly. You’re always looking, we’re arching our necks, to make sure everything is safe not just for you, but for everyone else. There are times I wish I could just be normal and not have to feel like that. Everyone completely lost the point except for law enforcement. We all feel that way except I voiced it."
In her now-viral video, Talbert states she had used the McDonald's app to order a McMuffin, hashbrown, and coffee; however, when she arrived at the drive-thru, she was told to pull forward because her order was not ready. So she moved her car and waited, before a McDonald's employee eventually came to her window to hand her the coffee. But there was no food. Talbert then insinuated the fast-food workers may have tampered with her McMuffin and hashbrown, making her too nervous to even accept the order.
"So I told her, I said, 'Don't bother with the food because now I'm too nervous to take it,'" she said in the video. "It doesn't matter how many hours I've been up. It doesn't matter what I've done for anyone. Right now, I'm too nervous to take a meal from McDonald's because I can't see it being made. I don't know what's going on with people nowadays but please just give us a break. I don't know how much more I can take."
Talbert uploaded the video shortly after the NYPD claimed Shake Shack employees "intentionally poisoned" milkshakes that three officers ordered. They later backtracked, saying "there was there was no criminality."
The deputy told BuzzFeed the owner of the McDonald's location asked her to take down the video, but she ultimately declined "because it's done so much good." Talbert also claimed she was amused by some of the memes and nicknames inspired by the video.
"I’m not bitching. I think that shit’s funny," she said. "'Cop Karen’ — whoever did that, that’s funny. 'Molly McMuffin,’'someone called me. That’s funny! I’d make money if I was that funny."
Talbert later explained she was supportive of the Black Lives Matter movement and understood the fears many protestors have when dealing with police—fears she could not compare to her own.
"How fair of me is it to honestly talk about other people's pain when I have no idea about it. I'm white. How am I going to talk about any one else's pain? How would I even know? They're truly not the same fears and I would never say that because it's not fair of me to say. It's a different thing, it's a different feeling."