Starbucks Responds To Cops Kicked Out So Customers Could Feel Safe

A Starbucks barista asked six Tempe police officers to leave the shop because a customer "did not feel safe."

Tempe, AZ – Starbucks has issued a response to the six officers who were booted out of one of their Tempe shops on Independence Day after a customer said they “did not feel safe” in the officers’ presence.

According to the Tempe Officers Association (TOA), the Fourth of July incident took place at the Starbucks shop located at McKellips and Scottsdale Road.

The six Tempe police officers paid for their orders and were standing together enjoying their coffee when they were suddenly interrupted by the barista, the TOA said in a Facebook post.

One of the officers is a “regular” at the shop, and the barista addressed him by name.

The barista then told the group that one of the customers complained that they “did not feel safe” with the officers inside the business, and “asked the officers to move out of the customer’s line of sight or to leave,” according to the post.

“Disappointed, the officers did in fact leave,” the TOA added.

The union blasted Starbucks for the way the officers were treated, and noted that “several” of the officers involved in the incident “are veterans who fought for this country,” according to another Facebook post.

The TOA also posted an altered image of the Starbucks logo, which depicted a hand pouring out a cup of liquid, accompanied by the words, “Dump Starbucks.”

“This treatment of public safety workers could not be more disheartening,” the police association noted. “While the barista was polite, making such a request at all was offensive. Unfortunately, such treatment has become all too common in 2019.”

The TOA said it also recognized that Starbucks Corporate does not have a “national policy” requiring employees to ask uniformed law enforcement officers to leave their stores, and said it was “looking forward to working collaboratively with them on this important dialogue.”

News of the incident was shared widely on social media, leading to the hashtag #DumpStarbucks, CNN reported.

“We have reached out to the Tempe police department to try to better understand what took place and apologize for any misunderstandings or inappropriate behavior that may have taken place,” Starbucks spokesman Reggie Borges told WVLT.

“We work with them a lot on events, like Coffee with a Cop, in our stores and we have a great relationship with them, so we are surprised that something like this may have taken place,” Borges said at the time.

“I just want them to understand how much we value them and what they bring to the community,” he added. “It is too early to say what type of ramifications employees will face, if any. But we want it to be known that everyone who walks into our store should feel welcomed and embraced and to have the best Starbucks experience – and when that doesn’t happen, that is not indicative of the kind of welcoming environment that we want to provide.”

The Tempe Police Department (TPD) also reached out to Starbucks’ corporate office about the incident, and were told that the way the officers were treated was “not in line with Starbucks values,” WVLT reported.

Starbucks Executive Vice President Rossann Williams issued a public apology to TPD on Saturday following a conversation with Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir.

“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,” Williams wrote.

She noted that the company has a “deep appreciation” for TPD, and said that the way they were treated was “completely unacceptable.”

“When those officers entered the store and a customer raised a concern over their presence, they should have been welcomed and treated with dignity and the utmost respect by our partners [employees],” Williams said. “Instead, they were made to feel unwelcome and disrespected, which is completely unacceptable.”

“Our partners rely on your service and welcome your presence, which keeps our stores and the community a safe and welcoming place,” she added.

Williams said that the company is committed to “continuing to strengthen” the “strong relationship” it has with TPD, through events such as “Coffee with a Cop.”

Those gatherings are especially important, because they “bring residents and police together to discuss relevant issues and find common ground,” she explained.

Williams said that the company is “already taking the necessary steps” to make sure that the way the officers were treated on Independence Day never happens again.

She also made arrangements to fly to Tempe to speak with Chief Moir in person, according to the statement.

On Sunday, TOA President Sergeant Rob Ferraro released a statement thanking the public for the “overwhelming support” they showed TPD in the wake of the incident, KTVK reported.

"We hope that out of this unfortunate incident there comes a welcome dialogue, one that more closely unites the men and women on the frontlines of police work with the communities we serve and protect,” Sgt. Ferraro said.

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Comments (82)
No. 1-43
Popcop.M1
Popcop.M1

Six officer's in one location? That would make my boss livid? Even three is stretching it. That would have been a legitiment citizen complaint. Otherwise I would have politely asked for the complainants info and told them that their name would go to every dispatch center in America so the police would not respond to their request for help ever.

tuggingalong
tuggingalong

I wonder if the “afraid client” had an outstanding warrant.

LEO0301
LEO0301

I've never understood the attraction Starbucks has with some people. Terrible coffee that taste like it's been left on the burner all day that is way over priced. That and Starbucks having been involved in so many similar incidents makes me wonder why anyone in law enforcement would waste their hard earned money at that place. Personally, if I'm out and about and feel the need for a cup of coffee my favorite place is Dunkin Donuts.

walkintall
walkintall

Maybe Starbucks can have a day where they close all the stores and have a sensitivity training session. That'll fix it.

LynnSB
LynnSB

Sounds like Starbucks didn't do Sh*t -- just a bunch of Double talk that they have said SEVERAL times before !! Wan't the send a message -- FIRE the POS that did this -- This IS Discrimination against our Officers !!

Patrolman Pete
Patrolman Pete

WHY not have the coffee server just ask the one "uncomfortable" customer to just leave instead of insulting 6 paying L.E. Customers to leave? No one was forcing them to stay if they felt "uncomfortable"!!! What would the coffee server have done if that customer had said they were uncomfortable because of 6 black men standing there, or 6 muslim men? Would the employee have asked those groups to leave? I think not! The employee should be fired for their poor decision to ask the officers to leave. Prejudice against any group should have zero tolerance!

Peaches57
Peaches57

Baristas who suffered thru the Starbucks' all-day training after two black men were arrested for not buying anything at a Starbucks, and were "waiting on a friend" have said that Starbucks put on several videos that talked about rampant police brutality, perpetrated particularly on people of color, and were told specifically to not call the cops on people unless an actual crime was committed. Out of that training came Starbucks' famous invite to all to come in and stay, as long as they liked, without ever having to buy anything. This of course has led to the homeless and junkies coming in to stay all day at Starbucks' locations, which has also led to Starbucks buying needle disposals to put in their very public bathrooms. As Starbucks heads toward the toilet, cops should seek out other places that welcome them instead. Perhaps a Waffle House?

Aislyn01
Aislyn01

It’s a sad day when things like this happen to our Officers. We should all be proud of our Law Enforcement Officers and thank them daily. I will always be great full for the courage and what they stand for. Pass this on .. next time you see a police officer in line at any coffee establishment pay for coffee. I have been doing this forever and it makes there day knowing they are Appriciated.

CivilianMark
CivilianMark

Charbucks will never need to ask me to leave.

ckmoore
ckmoore

In light of the much increased frequency of this type of behavior by establishment employees against LE, and the potential for huge loss of business from the fallout, I find it very hard to believe that just about any large chain where LE frequently visits, has not already made their "policy" for this crystal clear to employees. So I do not buy their excuses and platitudes one bit. Anything less than instant firing is proof.

none1911
none1911

I will brew a pot of coffee for any one of the brothers in blue at any time, It may not be the best ever, but it will be offered with gratitude for their service!

ebran98
ebran98

I seem to recall that something like this has happened with this shithole business before... Go to the local stop and rob people. Better coffee, cheaper and they like having officers in the store.

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

I was fantasizing about those cops leaving and 6 Hell's Angel's walking in, with full colors, right after. Hell that would make a good Saturday Night Live skit!

Mig Alley
Mig Alley

Wonder who they'll call when a bad guy shows up? 🤔

bruwmac
bruwmac

Save the apologies until you have fired that burrista!

vwiles34
vwiles34

Maybe it's about time some of these officers file discrimination suits of their own. I'm sure it wouldn't go far but it would get some serious attention. Or police unions stating that they are going to set up places the officers can go both on and off duty with there family where they won't cause this problem. And stop going to any chain or franchise locations in the city if serious and meaningful actions are not taken. Including the termination of employees involved in these incidents. The blacks are using this tactic against police. An if every fast food chain in a city with thousands of officers did this they would be getting together and putting changes in place..

SgtBow
SgtBow

If six of my officers were in a coffee shop at one time, it is either a training day or six officers are getting 3 days on the beach.

Texas-Bubba
Texas-Bubba

Fuck Starbucks / Bunch Of Morons

BlueLM101
BlueLM101

The barista in this case is not representative of the values of Starbucks. That is first hand knowledge. I'm glad that the Corporate office is taking this situation seriously. I know they will make it right.

Denece
Denece

Should have fired the employee. Anything short of that is just a bunch of blab.

gcd
gcd

I'm not a fan anyways of Starbucks, but this particular store made a huge mistake. Starbucks needs a National Policy so this will never happen again. In the meantime, I will not allow my shadow to cross the threshold of Starbucks again until I see a National Policy. Starbucks should be ashamed!

Popcop.M1
Popcop.M1

What pisses me off the most is that these are the same citizens that call us if their mailbox has a dent in it. Boils my blood...

PapaSmuf73
PapaSmuf73

Apparently Starbucks sensitive training has not reached that location. If I was that employee I would have told the customer that they are a customer just like you and they Re staying if you feel unsafe then I would suggest for you to leave. Unfortunately this is the trend in society today to treat law enforcement as second class citizens with a total lack of respect. No officer should be subjected to such actions by any business or employee. Absolutely appalling the way businesses treat local law enforcement.

Moktor48
Moktor48

Everyone needs to chill. The barista knew the cops, likely made a dumb youthful mistake because they didn't know what to do, and a correction with apology should suffice. No one was being anti-cop aside from the spineless customer who complained. A stupid kid is hardly worth national news, ffs.

Shastabeau
Shastabeau

The only reasons they might not feel safe, have illegal guns, drugs, are gang members or are wanted! Maybe because they have to beef on cops that are in there......not right! A guy just wants a coffee and unwind a few minutes and the employee is an a$$!

Shastabeau
Shastabeau

Second thought, the customer is mentally ill!

cspcapt
cspcapt

next time Starbucks call for police assistance, don't go inside. Tell them of your new policy. Let them handle it themselves, oh by the way, make sure you let the local papers know of your new procedures.

Wish505
Wish505

I have only gone into a Starbucks one time and that was enough for me. They continue to pull stunts like this relating to religion or whatever fits the far left agenda. The one time I looked at the person serving me and said no way, people like this guy wipe there butts with there hands and drink camel pee. No way was I going to accept anything from him and turned around and walk out an have never gone back.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

I have to wonder what the officer's did to make the customer uncomfortable maybe they said a racist thing, or made the upside down okay sign with their hands -- I see from around here that policemen like that sign! Maybe they were just making comments that betrayed an overeagerness to do extreme violence. Bcs they were veterans, maybe they were discussing how PTSD affects their performance on the job. I wish the article explored what they said or did more in order to help the officers on this board to avoid that kind of behavior.

Thinblueline
Thinblueline

What self respecting cop would even show their face in Starbucks? Many more cop friendly coffee places than that liberal bastion. Just order your Black Rifle Coffee online and get your other coffee at 7-11.

Ryerver
Ryerver

When are these businesses going to grow a set and tell the thug customers if they feel uncomfortable that they are free to leave. Better yet refuse to serve them and send them on their way back to the hole they crawled out of?

HAWAIIBLUE
HAWAIIBLUE

When will all of this hypersensitivity end? Don’t feel safe around officers? Especially if their minding their own business? Fucking ridiculous. I’ve had people tell me that shit while on a case. And it’s usually from the person doing the wrong, or didn’t get the answer they wanted. That’s usually to “go to” line when they know they can’t get what they want out of the officers. In this case, who the fuck are these customers who think they can kick anyone else out of an establishment? Total fucking bullshit. If you don’t feel safe somewhere, then you take your shit and your hurt feelings and you fucking leave. If you thought so much, that something would happen, why the hell would you stay in a place where YOU didn’t feel safe? If a bank is getting robbed and you’re standing outside, would you walk in and ask the tellers to ask the robbers to politely leave because you “really have to get the transaction done?”. Fucking stupid.

chessie58
chessie58

Kick six paying customers out so one cry baby snowflake can feel safe? Maybe Starbucks should have "security blankets" at the door for their wussy customers!

Pat1978
Pat1978

I bet it was some idiotic SJW gender studies morons that complained.

TarnishedCopper
TarnishedCopper

Why did the apology come from the Executive Vice President? Why did the Manager and Francise Owner not make the apology. The problem was not with the chain but with one idiot in one store. That is who should have met in person with the Police Chief, and the officers involved and apologize. That tells me that the local store, manager and idiot employee has probably not suffered at all.

sanman899
sanman899

F**K Starbucks, this is the last straw, I will never enter a starbucks again.

TWalters
TWalters

Never have and never will give Starbucks one penny of my hard earned money.

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

"911 please state you emergency" "This is Starbucks and we are being robbed!" "Please hold"

reverett456117502
reverett456117502

Ok, let's not make the officers the villains by second-guessing why 6 of them were there! None of us were there, were they on their way to work, all of them working, do we know the circumstances? No, the bottom line is an employee was out of line. Hopefully, Starbucks will give every store training on how to treat customers, especially those who lay their lives on the line daily!!! I'm glad the Corporate VP made the statement she did, almost immediately and contacted the Chief of Tempe. It was bad, but we cannot lump the entire company together for one person's actions or we're no better than those who hate all police because they had a bad experience with one or two officers. I'm not waving the flag for Starbucks, but let's digest what the VP said and did before jumping on the bandwagon of hate. The initial response from the TOA was understandable, but the President of the TOA has now made other remarks on the national news programs.. Let's hope (Starbucks) gives employees nationwide training someday.

THEDUKE
THEDUKE

Easy way to handle this - Give Dunkin Doughnuts all of our business.

Winddancer436
Winddancer436

Headline says "customers", it was one (1) stupid, bias idiot.

justice4me
justice4me

I stopped going to Starbucks years ago. Overpriced coffee, snowflake clientele, always sending the wrong message to the people. They want to be perceived as "hip" and cool, but have only come out looking like a far left collection of quasi-intellectuals who haven't a clue.

TheHammer
TheHammer

What are the odds the customer was a Spearchucker?