Police enjoying a cup of coffee were kicked out of a Starbucks coffee shop in Tempe, Arizona on the Fourth of July.
Why? Because a customer complained they “did not feel safe” with the cops present, according to reports.
The five officers were sipping coffee at the Starbucks before their shift started. That’s when a barista asked them to move out of the complaining customer’s line of sight or else leave.
The Tempe Officers Association shared the report in a series of Twitter messages.
Rob Ferraro is the president of the police union. He said things like these seem to be happening more and more these days.
“It’s become accepted to not trust or to see police and think that we’re not here to serve you, and again, it goes back to — we take great pride of the level of customer service we provide to citizens, and to be looked at as feeling unsafe when you have law enforcement around you is somewhat perplexing to me,” Ferraro said.
The police union also took to Twitter to post a series of messages about what happened.
“This treatment of public safety workers could not be more disheartening,” the union wrote. “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 puts the blame square on the individual store, not the Starbucks corporate. The union added that it looked forward “to working collaboratively with them on this important dialogue.”
4/4.. at all was offensive. Unfortunately, such treatment has become all too common in 2019.
We know this is not a national policy at Starbucks Corporate and we look forward to working collaboratively with them on this important dialogue.
— Tempe Officers Association (@ToaAz) July 6, 2019
On Twitter Friday, the union shared a parody of the Starbucks logo, with the words “Dump Starbucks” and the image of a hand dumping the contents of a cup of coffee.
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
Starbucks said through a spokesman that the company is still piecing together just what happened.
A Starbucks spokesman told the Arizona Republic the company was still gathering details about what happened.
“We have a deep respect for the Tempe Police and their service to the community,” spokesman Reggie Borges said. “We’ve reached out to the Tempe Police Department and Tempe Officers Association to better understand what happened and apologize. We want everyone in our stores to feel welcomed and the incident described is not indicative of what we want any of our customers to feel in our stores.”
Starbucks wouldn’t say if the barista would be disciplined, but they also didn’t identify the barista or the customer.
Anyone remember what happened in a Starbucks in 2018?
Two black men were arrested for trespassing after they refused to leave a Starbucks. They weren’t paying customers. As a result, the Philadelphia police commissioner issued an apology to the men. Then Starbucks closed some 8,000 locations for a business day to conduct “racial bias training”.
Perhaps Starbucks can help us understand the hypocrisy. One of their employees called the police because people who weren’t paying customers were taking up space and refused to leave private property. Police responded and did what was asked of them – and what they were legally justified in doing.
In response, we see an entire company shut down to train employees in how police are bad, everyone is racist and we need to make sure everyone feels good.
On the flip side, we see spreading incidents across the country where police officers are being kicked out of the shops that are in the very communities these cops serve and protect. And yet Starbucks, instead of doing the right thing, hides the identity of the baristas and gives just a generic blanket apology.
In the training that happened during that national day of shut down, baristas were given a 68-page guide where they were asked to respond to writing prompts with various scenarios.
“It felt like we were off task the entire time because we didn’t reflect on the situation itself,” said one Barista, referring to the incident involving the two people arrested for trespassing. “The training materials focused a lot on police brutality, which had nothing to do with the incident that happened.”
Another attendee said the from Starbucks who were running the session only talked about the incident only when attendees asked about it. Instead, according to another barista, it was anti-police propaganda:
“The videos of cops knocking people down and fighting people were really disturbing,” Tina explained. “I told them I didn’t like the video and they told me they understood and that I was open to give my opinion.” What does watching videos about police brutality have to do with the situation that happened, Tina said she kept asking herself. “They went too deep into it and missed the point all at the same time.”
“At one point,” said Jamie, “a girl at my table actually had to get up and leave because video after video they showed black people being assaulted by police or black people being verbally assaulted and white people being racially biased toward people of color. It offended her. She left after that.”
Here’s one of the videos Starbucks showed its employees:
Why aren’t they shutting down every location to train employees on “bias training against law enforcement”?
Why do they pander to those who break the law and give the proverbial bird to those who enforce it?
If Starbucks is serious about protecting against discrimination, then they have no choice but to shut down every single location for a day to train employees on how to protect those who protect them.
Then again… that doesn’t fit their corporate agenda, now does it?