SEATTLE, WA – The management team of a Seattle-based chocolate shop are working to train their employees to create a “more inviting community,” after two police officers were allegedly denied service at the shop earlier in April solely due to them being police officers.
Management of a Seattle chocolate shop are working with employees to create a "more inviting community" after two police officers were allegedly denied service. https://t.co/jpQMF1O1X4
— Q13 FOX Seattle (@Q13FOX) April 30, 2021
The news of this alleged denial of service was first reported on by The Post Millennial, where the report proclaimed that a Seattle Police officer and a trainee had entered the Chocolati location on North 45th St on April 27th at approximately 4:30 p.m. to guy purchase a box of chocolates.
Seattle Police Department sources informed The Post Millennial that after an employee that was describe as “a white female with green streaks in her hair” had finished serving the customer in front of the officer, she allegedly ignored the officer.
Reportedly this officer then got the employee’s attention and asked to purchase a box of chocolates, to which this employee allegedly responded with:
“No, I won’t serve you.”
The officer and the trainee were said to have just simply left the location thereafter.
Apparently, The Post Millennial reached out to the Chocolati location where this allegedly happened and spoke with an employee to detail the purpose of the call. According to The Post Millennial, after the employee learned about why they were being contacted, the employee reportedly stated on the phone:
“Is this how you want to spend your time? Getting essential workers in trouble?… Shouldn’t you be spending your time harassing homeless people?”
"No, I won’t serve you."
Seattle police officers were allegedly refused service at@ChocolatiCafe on North 45th street. When @TPostMillennial called the cafe for comment, the staff worker cursed & said, "Go f— yourself." https://t.co/ViAdRZPbti
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) April 28, 2021
Reportedly, The Post Millennial representative that had reached out for comment then asked if there was a phone number to reach the owner or management of the establishment.
This employee of the cafe then allegedly replied with:
“You really want to spend your time getting essential workers in trouble?”
The employee also allegedly ended the conversation with “and go fuck yourself.”
Following the news of this alleged denial of service toward two officers at the Chocolati location, the company released a statement addressing the matter:
“As a local small business, Chocolati welcomes all members of our community.
“We have recently become aware of an incident that occurred with a team member and an officer of the Seattle Police Department who was refused service. Although we do respect this team member’s freedom of speech, the actions in this instance do not represent our views as a company.
“We are actively working directly with this team member and the local precinct to create a more inviting, inclusive and cohesive community for all.
“Discrimination is not a practice that we believe will heal the divide within our city, and we are committed to being a safe and welcoming place for every one of our neighbors.”
Seattle Police Officers Guild Mike Solan noted that he’s appreciative that the company has addressed the matter and are open to discussions with the local police union:
“At least we’re coming to the table for a conversation. Which to me is a marketable improvement on what the officers experienced about three days ago.
“So that’s all we can ask for…we need more communication in our community, in particular, with people that have some type of discrimination toward law enforcement.”
It is unclear whether or not the location where this incident reportedly occurred has relieved the employee involved in the matter.
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Law Enforcement Today recently reported on the alleged antics of other rogue employees upset about policing – this instance happening at a Starbucks in Minnesota.
Here’s that previous report.
ST PAUL, MN – In a rather bizarre, purported protest of sorts against police, reportedly employees at a St. Paul Starbucks location had refused to open the store and work if St. Paul Police officers were going to be outside the location to help safely direct traffic around their drive-thru location.
While the alleged refusal to work seems strange, it’s important to understand the correlation between this particular Starbucks location and local police directing traffic in concert with the locations drive-thru operations.
— Torey Van Oot (@toreyvanoot) April 27, 2021
This St. Paul Starbucks happens to be located at the intersection of Snelling and Marshall Avenues, which has been touted as one of the busiest in the entire city.
However, with this title of being the busiest location has spawned frustrations associated with traffic jams caused by the extensively long drive-thru line at times.
Apparently, there have been a fair amount of traffic accidents in the area, and contributing factors to said accidents have been the long drive through line at this Starbucks.
This is the best take in the whole damn comment section.
— !!(Alex Bates) (@notnotAlexBates) April 27, 2021
Thus, back in 2018, Starbucks had reportedly entered into an arrangement with the St. Paul Police where off duty officers would come to the location in full uniform to help direct traffic through the drive-thru lanes during the location’s peak hours.
And apparently, this relationship between the St. Paul Police and that Starbucks location has continued on without any issue or articulable contention.
Reportedly in the weeks that were leading up to Derek Chauvin’s trial, St. Paul Police Spokeswoman Sergeant Natalie Davis stated that the police department had suspended all iterations of off-duty employment by officers.
That's the problem. They aren't using logic
— HailtheFlashlightKing (@KingHailthe) April 26, 2021
The rationale behind this suspension at the time was to address the mounting unrest in relation to the fatal police shooting of Dante Wright, which occurred in the nearby city of Brooklyn Center.
After the conviction of Chauvin at trial, Sergeant Davis noted that things were returning back to normal in terms of traffic details and the ilk, and thus officers were allowed to go back to their assignments at that Starbucks location.
But apparently a group of employees at the location had formed a sort of pact to refuse opening the store location at all if any police officers or outside directing the traffic associated with the drive-thru line.
An unnamed employee had spoken to the local news publication the Pioneer Press saying the following about this “ultimatum” crafted regarding the refusal to work if police were outside directing traffic:
“We basically gave an ultimatum to our district manager and our regional vice president.”
As strange as that may sound, this group of employees professed concerns that there may be hostile interactions between white police officers and Starbucks customers that are black or of Somali descent.
Strange assertions aside from this rogue group of Starbucks employees, the location still does have a legally-binding agreement with the St. Paul Police Department. What comes of that agreement moving forward is anyone’s guess as of this writing.
Starbucks at Snelling and Selby remains open, but its drive-thru does not. A young man in the parking lot can hand deliver your order if you choose not to come inside. No police officer on duty. pic.twitter.com/Pn7Zr6catR
— Frederick Melo, Reporter (@FrederickMelo) April 26, 2021
What locals have pointed out is that despite the location being briefly closed on April 25th, it was reopened the following day but with one noticeable difference: the drive through lanes were blocked off.
It is unclear if the closure of the drive-thru is temporary or permanent as of this time.
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