Starbucks Apologizes To Tempe, Arizona Police After Six Officers Were Asked To Leave Store
On Independence Day, six police officers were asked to leave a Starbucks coffee shop after a customer reportedly complained the officers made them “not feel safe.”
The Tempe, Arizona, officers were enjoying a coffee before their shift when a barista asked them to leave or “move out of the complaining customer’s line of sight.”
The Tempe Officers Association posted a mock image of the Starbucks logo on Twitter showing a hand pouring out a cup of coffee with the words “dump Starbucks.”
“Don’t appreciate @Starbucks asking our #tempe cops to leave your establishment on the #4thofjuly2019. several of those cops are #veterans who fought for this country! #zerorespect,” the union wrote.
The barista knew one of the officers by name because he was a regular at the location and explained the customer “did not feel safe” because of the police presence.
The barista asked the officers to move out of the customer’s line of sight or to leave
The police union tweeted out a statement regarding the incident.
“This treatment of public safety workers could not be more disheartening. While the barista was polite, making such a request at all was offensive. Unfortunately, such treatment has become all too common in 2019,” the union wrote.
Rob Ferraro, president of the Tempe Officers Association, said that it was “perplexing” that people would feel unsafe around those who protect them in a FOX10 interview in Tempe.
The union did not blame Starbucks corporate office, saying it looked forward “to working collaboratively with them on this important dialogue.”
Starbucks in a statement regarding the incident said they were performing an investigation.
Immediately after the news of the incident, many took to Twitter to support the police, using the #boycottstarbucks hashtag along with tweeting comments.
Some had criticisms:
On July 6, Starbucks released an apology to the Tempe police department.
Rossann Williams, the coffee chain’s executive vice president, wrote: “on behalf of Starbucks, I want to sincerely apologize to you all for the experience that six of your officers had in our store on July 4.”
“What occurred in our store on July 4 is never the experience your officers or any customer should have, and at Starbucks, we are already taking the necessary steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again in the future,” she continued.
The apology was also posted on the Starbucks website here.
Last year, Starbucks was in hot water for a racial profiling incident that involved two black men being arrested in a Philadelphia store. Starbucks settled the matter privately with the men and temporarily closed 8,000 U.S. stores to conduct anti-bias training for its staff.