MSBNC employee gives out free water at “Global Citizen’s Festival” – to everyone but the cops working it

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I have had it. This mindset that police officers are sub-human and are not worthy of compassion and being treated with decency and dignity has got to stop. I also do not want to hear any more comments about how the mainstream media has no bias. They, in their left-leaning ideology, absolutely hate our law enforcement communities. So much in fact, they refuse to give a cop a bottle of water.

The latest example was shared by a source close to Law Enforcement Today:

MSNBC is currently hosting the Global Citizen’s Festival in Central Park, NYC.  It’s the same event where, in the past, the band Green Day has used the stage to bash President Trump and Stevie Wonder took a knee to send a message to law enforcement.  No big surprise that MSNBC is a sponsor.

The news outlet also has a branded tent at the event that draws thousands. This is the location where people were passing out water bottles to concert attendees. The bottles were free, and attendees were able to come get refills…for free.

Enter a female NYPD officer. She approached the tent to ask for a bottle of water. And this is where the bias kicked in. The guy working the MSNBC booth said:

“See, this is what I knew was going to happen. Cops asking for water bottles.”

The officer replied:

“So, you can’t give a bottle of water to the cops that are serving and protecting you at this festival?”

The guys response:

“Well, MSNBC doesn’t want us to.”

Let me repeat that. MSNBC doesn’t want us to.

Either this guy is a complete dumpster fire of a human being and blamed it on the concert sponsor, or MSNBC wants to send a message to law enforcement.

After a few awkward seconds, the staffer looked at the cop and told her:

“I’ll give you the bottle of water, but you CAN NOT come back to fill it up.”

After handing her the bottle, he stormed away angrily.

Just one more example of an officer being demeaned and degraded simply because of the job they have and the uniform they wear.

Obviously, this is not the first story we have shared of people discriminating against officer simply because they were officers.

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 cops present, according to reports.

A Louisiana Burger King reportedly refused to serve two uniformed officers who tried to order food through the drive-thru last month.

According to the Bayou Journal, the Assumption Parish sheriff’s deputies had just finished SWAT training and went to a Burger King in St. Francisville to get some food.

When the police officers tried to order through the drive-thru speaker at the fast food chain, employees allegedly denied their request.

The police department’s public information officer Lonny Cavalier said the deputies tried to order chicken and were told the restaurant was out. They then tried to order Whoppers, to which an employee said they were out of hamburgers.

Moreover, the uniformed officers asked if the establishment was actually out of the items or if they just did not serve law enforcement, but only received laughter in response, Cavalier wrote in a Letter to the Editor.

Back in July, David Chianese, a retired detective with the New York City Police Department, had this to say about the discriminatory and hateful practice of refusing service to officers and agents:

I’m going through my LinkedIn feed the other day and see a post from a major police publication. Like anyone else, I stopped to scan it and halfway through, I nearly tossed my coffee mug at the wall.

Now, anyone who knows me knows I love my coffee and so they know it’s for that reason that I refrained. That same love of coffee is what also brought this article to my attention and brings me to my tablet for this article.

The officer who authored the article has a self-reported two decades in law enforcement. Now, I certainly don’t discount the officer’s time, dedication, or integrity, but his view of the situation is certainly not in line with mine, as I will detail below.

Again, let me state that I have tremendous respect for this individual as a writer and officer.

We both agree that it is disheartening and somewhat devastating that a civilian would feel so threatened that they would approach a member of the Starbucks staff and ask that the officers (who were just drinking coffee) be removed from the building.

We both feel the initial anger at Starbucks for such an incident being handled the way it was, but as for what came next… that is where we part roads.

While this other author talks about how “there is a great teaching moment that is at risk of being squandered by law enforcement… Instead of dumping Starbucks, we should be highlighting our understanding that one moment by one employee doesn’t represent the whole, for who knows that better than us?” (Mannion, C.).

While I agree that one incident from one employee is hardly an attack, and that eight incidents from eight different Starbucks coffee shops don’t exactly equal a hill of beans… is something bigger being missed?

A quick Google search for denial of service complaints by cops shows over 40 incidents in less than four years. Now, I know that even that doesn’t sound too impressive, however, I stopped after 25 minutes and still had many pages left unread.

In late 2015 I started hearing about the denial of service to officers… a department here and an agency there… but I was retired and removed from the situation. That came to a screeching halt in February of 2016 when a group of NYPD officer where cursed at and tossed out of a Smashburger on Long Island.

My agency and my neighborhood. This insanity that had felt so far removed on the other side of the Mississippi or below the Mason-Dixon line had slammed home in the shadows of Gotham. In my mind, you swung at the largest department in America and something was going to happen. Through my organization, Law Enforcement and Supporters for Media Accountability (L.E.S.M.A.), I began to research possible causes as for these types of attacks as I had noticed such high numbers against law enforcement officials compared to any other job or category.

Results of my findings were shocking even though they were expected. The shock… mainly because I didn’t see it at first.

The $15.00 an hour movement was born in 2012 and gathered little traction until 2015 when the Democratic party began speaking and meeting with key players in the movement. Shortly after, it had become significantly more popular and was eventually added to the party’s platform in the 2016 election.

The connection seemed clear and plenty of the cases lined up with the timing. We had a political movement that became a new battlefront in the war on cops. Attacks on cops by members of Black Lives Matter and Antifa were increasing at the same rates as the refusal to serve officers.

Federal law makes it clear that discrimination is discrimination, whether it be on the basis of sex, religion, gender or occupation. Corporate policies, which tend to be way more detailed than the federal mandate, often fail to mention “occupation” as a protected category.

While adding such a term to their policy might not offer much in the way of protection, it would allow for quick and harsh punishment (termination), sending a shot across the bow to discourage further incidents.

With this in mind, I approached Smashburger Corp. directly.

This was after arranging boycotts at two local franchises, including the one in question. Slowed sales, public outcry, and the looming threat of expanding boycotts brought them to the table. With this groundwork laid, my staff and I presented the board of Smashburger with a reasonable, cost effective, and mutually beneficial solution. Together, we crafted a new policy on discrimination together that simply just added “or occupation”, and a relationship was born.

To take these incidents as random one-offs is negligent. To not look outside the box and view a situation from all angles is sloppy. To not see it for what it is and call it anything less is disingenuous. 

While a single employee’s actions don’t define a corporation, they do represent the corporations core beliefs. If a corporation fails to, at the very minimum, offer a detailed policy that counters a current trend, they are equally culpable as the miscreants themselves.

As officers, how can we call out public officials from our country for failing to support first responders or for their failure to act with due diligence against dangerous and disrespectful trends, yet not hold a corporation, a mere entity, accountable for the same?

Did you know that Law Enforcement Today has a private new home for those who support emergency responders and veterans?  It’s called LET Unity, and it’s where we share the untold stories of those patriotic Americans.  Every penny gets reinvested into giving these heroes a voice.  Check it out today.

MSBNC employee gives out free water at "Global Citizen's Festival" - to everyone but the cops working it

In a show of the actual support for law enforcement that’s out there, we need look no further than one Navy SEAL owned coffee company, which went viral after calling out Starbucks, pledging their profits to fallen officers back in July.

Here’s what happened.

“We woke up this morning and, well, WOW.  We were absolutely BURIED in emails and messages and were completely humbled.”

Those were the words of former Navy SEAL Salvatore DeFranco.  He and his wife, Dana, own Battle Grounds Coffee.  It’s a chain of coffee shops and an online store that sells some of the best joe we’ve ever had.

Perhaps it’s because it tastes so much like, well, America.

On Saturday, we shared the story of their anger at Starbucks for kicking cops out of a store along with their pledge to donate 50% of profits from online sales in July to the families of fallen officers.  And they were completely overwhelmed with support and gratitude.

First – the back story.

Salvatore and Dana DeFranco were getting ready to open the doors of Battle Grounds coffee in Massachusetts on Saturday when they heard the latest news out of a Starbucks in Arizona. They were beyond angry.

Salvatore and Dana DeFranco of Battle Grounds Coffee
Salvatore and Dana DeFranco of Battle Grounds Coffee

 

Lest you missed it – here’s what happened.

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.

Battle Grounds Coffee

 

Sal is a former Navy SEAL. He and his wife, Dana, run a couple of Battle Grounds coffee locations in Massachusetts.  They have a strong online presence and are finalizing plans to open a half dozen more locations in the near future.  They were outraged over the news.

“These are men and women who serve and protect our communities every single day.  For someone to say they didn’t feel safe around them is ludicrous,” said Sal.

Dana, who oversees the daily operations at Battle Grounds Coffee, said the core problem was how the store handled it.

“You’re going to kick out five protectors because you have one person who can’t handle reality? Shame on that store.  If that happened in our business, not a single one of those officers would have had a bill… and we would have kicked out the complainer,” said Dana.

Battle Grounds Salvatore and Dana DeFranco
Battle Grounds Salvatore and Dana DeFranco

 

Sal pointed out the hypocrisy of Starbucks.

“In 2018, two black men who weren’t paying customers were arrested for trespassing after they refused to leave a Starbucks.  Starbucks turned around and closed some 8,000 locations for a business day to conduct ‘racial bias training’.  When does Starbucks plan on closing for a day to train their employees to respect law enforcement and our veterans?”

Dana expanded upon the value system of their company.

“Up until now, we espoused total inclusivity.  We would always welcome ANY paying customer, regardless of their race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion or profession,” said Dana.  “But this story made us rethink that.  From here on out, there’s personality type we do NOT want coming into our store – jerks.”

Dana and Sal were so upset over the news that they decided to do something about it.  For the entire month of July, they’re donating 50% of profits from ALL of their online sales to Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), an organization that supports the families of fallen officers.

“These men and women put on a uniform every single day and go into the community to protect us,” Dana said.  “We’re losing far too many of them.  Those are men and women losing their spouses… kids losing their parents… parents losing their kids.  We owe them a debt of gratitude.  And while some ‘coffee chains’ might not respect that, at Battle Grounds Coffee, we do.”

The news went absolutely viral, with emails along with Facebook and Instagram messages flooding in.  So did the orders.  And all of those orders mean money that will end up helping some incredible people.

Here are some of our favorite messages they received:

Joe D. sent this message:

I just wanted to say I appreciate your respect towards law enforcement and wanted to say thank you for your service . I’ve been a Chicago Police Officer for 20 years. The shit that’s going on in his country is making me sick. I read your article about how your donating 50% of proceeds in July to Cops . You are a true Patriot and a Hero in my book. God Bless you and good luck with your coffee business. Open one up in Chicago! Do you ship to Chicago just wondering? Stay Safe and MAGA !
👍🏻🇺🇸💪🏻

An officer who was particularly touched by the move by Battle Grounds sent this message:

Dear Sal,

 I want to thank you for speaking out and backing my brothers and sisters in blue. I have been a law enforcement officer for the past 16 years and I love it. Over the past 6 years though, it has been very tough. I’ve lost four brothers in blue in the line of duty. Two of my brothers I was close friends with. I read where you are donating 50% of your upcoming sales to the families of the fallen. I thank you sir for doing that. Thank you for your service to this great country.

Tom from Maryland said:

First thank you sir for your service to our country.  Second, my thanks to you and your wife for your support for the families of deceased law enforcement officers.  I’m retired law enforcement (33 years) in Maryland, and I’ve seen the change in society’s view of the police.  It’s been very ugly, but folks such as you make the job worth it.  Thank you for all you have done for our country and the blue.

Juan sent in this message on Instagram:

Thank you, thank you for standing up for my brothers and sisters, this means so much to us and just shows that together, we can do and help anyone.  I have been a C.O.P.S. volunteer for over 15 years after losing 3 friends in the line of duty.  It has not been easy, but with support like this, we can help so many… you are awesome and God bless you.

Kevin wrote in through Instagram as well:

I wish we had one of your shops here in Texas.  I am going to check my finances and if able, am going to go out and buy a handful of Dunkin Donuts gift cards and hand them out in front of a local Starbucks.

They (either directly, or through a complete lack of training and “hands on” with their employees) have done too many crappy things to people in the name of “social justice” and I am DONE with them.

Dana said the show of support just reinforces their “why”.

We wanted Battle Grounds to not just be a coffee shop, but to be a home.  It’s a home for EVERYONE, no matter what they do for work or who they are as an individual.  But we owe a debt of gratitude to those who keep us safe so that we can create this incredible community.

Sadly, across the country, there are many people who don’t appreciate that sense of security and safety.  People who are angered at the sight of people who put on a uniform to keep them safe.  Individuals who feel as if they are entitled to a “safe space” but believe it will be protected by… their own feelings.

Sal said it’s time Americans toughen up.

“When I was a Navy SEAL, we learned about brotherhood.  We learned about service.  We learned about dedication.  We learned about TOUGHNESS,” said Sal.  “Men before us… and men and women today… run into the fight to protect those who can’t protect themselves.  And you’re going to be triggered by the sight of a protector?  Give me a break.  Get over yourself.”

Coffee is as much of a passion to Sal and Dana as America and service.  As a matter of fact, it was coffee that saved Sal’s life.

(Above: Sal DeFranco of Battle Grounds Coffee is featured in an interview for the Long Live The Veteran Brotherhood Series, started by Navy SEAL Sniper Eli Crane, the CEO of Bottle Breacher.)

Sal was in a coma for months after an accident when he was in the Navy.  It’s a miracle that he was able to pull out of it.  But his recovery was going slow – too slow.  

“My doctor asked me two things – are you working out?  Are you drinking coffee?  I wasn’t a coffee drinker, but my doctor pointed out that it was a natural upper,” said Sal.

Dana said that’s when the transformation happened.

“We started researching coffee and this new passion brought us together,” she said.  “We found it was helping his recovery, was helping our marriage and would be a mission for the two of us that we could use to continue a life of service – this time to bringing communities together.”

Now Sal and Dana use their coffee shop to give back to others.  They are involved in countless community organizations and non-profits. They spend their free time supporting numerous causes, and over the past couple of years Sal has been asked to travel across the country to give keynote speeches on his story.

(Above: Salvatore DeFranco from Battle Grounds Coffee speaks to wounded officers in Texas about PTSD.)

 

“Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) is one of the best organizations we’ve found in America to support law enforcement,” Sal said.  “While companies like Starbucks spit in the face of our police officers… we are proud to be able to donate 50% of our profits from online sales this month to a group that actually stands behind those officers.”

To learn more about their brand and their products, click here.

In the meantime, the Tempe Officers Association isn’t backing down when it comes to going after Starbucks.

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.

Cops: We were kicked out of Starbucks because a customer “didn’t feel safe” around us

“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.”

 

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.

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.

As Sal pointing out, here’s what happened with 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?

 

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