A tweet from the Tempe Officers Association regarding a request that a group of officers move or leave a Starbucks coffee shop on the Fourth of July because a customer felt uncomfortable has sparked public outrage.
According to the Association, the incident occurred at the Starbucks at Scottsdale Road and McKellips.
Reggie Borges, a spokesperson for Starbucks, told the Arizona Republic that the company has “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.”
A statement from the Tempe Officers Association on The July 4th incident and Starbucks’ treatment of police officers:
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. 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.
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