Several police officers were asked to leave a Starbucks coffee shop or at least move out of the line of sight after a customer reportedly complained the officers made them “not feel safe.”
Fox News reported that the Tempe, Arizona, officers were merely drinking coffee before their shift when a barista asked them to leave or “move out of the complaining customer’s line of sight.”
On Twitter, the Tempe Officers Association — a police union — wrote about the incident on Friday and included a mock image of the Starbucks logo that showed a hand pouring out a cup of coffee with the words “Dump Starbucks” circling the image.
“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,” the union wrote.
The union then tweeted out a statement regarding the incident:
Yesterday, on Independence Day, 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 before their long 4th of July shift. They were approached by a barista, who knew one of the officers by name, because he is a regular at that location. 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. 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.
Rob Ferraro, president of the Tempe Officers Association, told Fox 10 in Tempe that it was “perplexing” that people would feel unsafe around those dedicated to protecting them.
“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.
Starbucks released a statement regarding the incident as well, stating the company was still investigating:
We have deep respect for the Tempe Police Department and its service to our community. We have reached out to understand better what may have happened in our store, and to apologize for any misunderstanding or inappropriate behavior that may have taken place.