A group of police officers in Tempe, Arizona said they were asked to leave a Starbucks by a barista following a customer complaint on Thursday. As reports about the incident went viral, the hashtag #dumpstarbucks started trending and Starbucks issued an apology.
The Tempe Officers Association wrote on Twitter that the six officers “stopped by the Starbucks at Scottsdale Road and McKellips for coffee” before their shift on July 4. The police officers said they ordered drinks and were told by a barista that a customer “did not feel safe” by their presence in the store. They said the officers were told to “move out of the customer’s line of sight or to leave.”
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 pic.twitter.com/oGaDKhlYX3
— Tempe Officers Association (@ToaAz) July 5, 2019
After reaching out to Starbucks, the Tempe Police Department was told the incident was “not in line with Starbucks values and [they] will continue to work in strengthening their relationship with law enforcement.”
In a statement released on Twitter, the Tempe police department said they hoped the incident at Starbucks will be an “isolated incident between one community member and a single employee rather than an entire organization.”
In response to the numerous requests for comment regarding Tempe Police Officers being asked to leave Starbucks on July 4th, 2019 attached is the statement on behalf of the Tempe Police Department. pic.twitter.com/biTc4eTqTy
— Tempe Police (@TempePolice) July 6, 2019
Police Chief Sylvia Moir also wrote on Twitter the Tempe Police Department “will be having conversations with the local Starbucks.”
From what we know, this incident is about a narrative about police and subsequent action by an individual – while cops were working a holiday to keep the community safe to celebrate. We WILL be having conversations with the local Starbucks. @ToaAz https://t.co/EFsObjDK2Z
— Sylvia Moir (@ChiefMoir) July 6, 2019
Starbucks in response issued a statement to CBS Phoenix affiliate KPHO saying they are trying to “better understand what took place and apologize for any misunderstandings or inappropriate behavior that may have taken place.”
Rossann Williams, Starbucks executive vice president and president of U.S. Retail released a new statement on the Starbucks website referencing to the incident. In the statement, Williams offered an apology to Moir and the officers.
“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 said. The executive president also said she “will be in Tempe this evening and welcome the opportunity to meet with any of you in person to address concerns or questions.”
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