Starbucks has officially issued an apology after an employee asked a group of six police officers in Tempe, Arizona to leave one of its stores or to move out of the line of sight of a customer.
The Dialogue Between Starbucks and the Tempe Officers Association
According to one of the officers who was asked to leave, the barista said that the customer who requested for this did not feel safe with police nearby.
The Tempe Officers Association posted a statement about the incident on their official Facebook page detailing the incident.
“[…] six Tempe police officers stopped by the Starbucks at Scottsdale Road and McKellips for coffee. The officers paid for their drinks and stood together having a cup of coffee.”
They also detailed how the barista was polite about asking the request, it was still an offensive one to make.
“The barista said that a 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.
Disappointed, the officers did in fact leave.
This treatment of public safety workers could not be more disheartening. While the barista was polite, making such a request at all was offensive.”
The group also posted an image to their Facebook and Twitter and the hashtag #DumpStarbucks began trending. The Tempe Police Department has also tacked on their hope that this was an “isolated incident.”
On Sunday, Starbucks issued an apology after meeting with the police chief, Sylvia Moir. Rossann Williams, the company’s executive vice president wrote on Starbuck’s official website.
“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). Instead, they were made to feel unwelcome and disrespected, which is completely unacceptable.”
The incident happened on the 4th of July, Independence Day.