Starbucks finally apologized to the Tempe, Arizona Police Department after a firestorm of Americans complained about the police officers being asked to leave a store. A customer complained of not feeling safe in the presence of the six officers who had stopped in to grab a coffee. A barista asked the officers to leave after they had purchased their drinks.
After the Tempe Officers Association posted about the incident on their Facebook account, people were outraged that the officers were asked to leave the Starbucks. Social media went nuts with a “Boycott Starbucks” movement that the coffee company probably realized was a public relations mistake in the making.
They finally released an apology for what happened and said they have “deep respect” for the Tempe Police Department:
Fox News reports that the coffee giant apologized for any “misunderstanding or inappropriate behavior that may have taken place” and said it has “deep respect for the Tempe Police Department.”
An Apology to the Tempe Police Department
Dear Chief Moir and the entire Tempe
Thank you, Chief Moir, for the conversation today. 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.
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.
At Starbucks, we have deep appreciation for your department and the officers who serve the Tempe community. Our partners rely on your service and welcome your presence, which keeps our stores and the community a safe and welcoming place.
Our strong relationship with the Tempe Police Department has provided us the opportunity to host several “Coffee with a Cop” events in area stores, which bring residents and police together to discuss relevant issues and find common ground. We look forward to continuing to strengthen our relationship with you, and we agree that the experience of your officers requires an important dialogue – one that we are committed to being part of.
What occurred in our store on July 4 is never the experience your officers or any customer should have, and at Starbucks, we are already taking the necessary steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again in the future.
I will be in Tempe this evening and welcome the opportunity to meet with any of you in person to address concerns or questions.
executive vice president, president U.S. Retail
Starbucks Coffee Company
OUR PREVIOUS REPORT ON THE INCIDENT:
According to Fox News – Some police officers in Tempe, Ariz., say they were asked to leave a Starbucks coffee shop on the Fourth of July because a customer complained they “did not feel safe” with the cops present, according to reports.
Officers were drinking coffee at the Starbucks location prior to their shift beginning when a barista asked them to move out of the complaining customer’s line of sight or else leave, the Tempe Officers Association wrote in a series of Twitter messages.
Rob Ferraro, president of the police union, told FOX 10 of Phoenix that such treatment of police officers seems to be happening more often 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 told the station in a phone interview.
The police union also posted a series of Twitter messages about the incident.
“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.”