Starbucks Apologizes to Police After Six Officers Were Asked to Leave Arizona Store

REUTERS/Mike Blake

Starbucks Corp <SBUX.O> on Sunday apologized after an employee at one of its stores in Tempe, Arizona asked six police officers to leave or move out of a customer’s line of sight, triggering social media backlash.

The officers had visited the store on July 4 and had paid for the drinks, before one company employee approached them about a customer not feeling safe because of the police presence, the Tempe Officers Association said on Twitter.

“This treatment of public safety workers could not be more disheartening. While the barista was polite, making such a request at all was offensive,” the association added.

Following the incident, users took to Twitter to support the police, tweeting comments along with the #boycottstarbucks hashtag.

In an apology addressed to the Tempe Police Department and posted on its website, Starbucks said the treatment of the officers was “completely unacceptable.”

“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,” Rossann Williams, the coffee chain’s executive vice president, wrote.

“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.”

Last year, the company was mired in a racial profiling incident that involved the arrest of two black men in a Philadelphia store. Starbucks later settled with the men privately, and temporarily closed 8,000 U.S. stores for anti-bias training.

(Reporting by Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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dennis becker
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dennis becker

Boycott Starbucks !
It appears that they don’t have Company policy developed to deal with all segments of society. How much is the settlement going to be for the 6 officers if they paid off 2 people over alleged racial profiling in Philadelphia
They should obtain the Shyster lawyer the Philly profiled individuals used.
What a bunch of Wimps!!!!

RobertC
Guest
RobertC

What I want to know is how they propose dealing with the customer who complained? They seem to be such a kiss-a$$ organization that I can’t imagine them standing up to such unreasonable requests. This was one of those situations where it was IMPOSSIBLE to please all parties involved. The staff stupidly chose to side with the unreasonable complaining customer, and it cost them dearly in negative publicity. That’s the only reason that Starbucks is sorry about the incident – the backlash. They’re a liberal organization, and there’s no way that they will ultimately go against their fellow leftist patrons.

Nancy Assaf
Member

I just can’t drink Starbucks coffee. I tried. It’s like drinking acid. Ya’ll should try Cafe du Monde down here in La. It’s smooth and real tasty!

BurbankBaby
Guest
BurbankBaby

I guess anti-bias training doesn’t apply when your biased customers and biased employees are biased against the police officers that protect their right to be biased.

Don Snyder
Member

Please, please some one rob this store and have the
‘little butt hurt snowflakes’ call the police and have the cops just sit in their cars, sipping Dunkin Donut coffee and watch these idiots get robbed because they feel threatened by the police.For the love of God, how stupid are these people?

Chris
Guest
Chris

Anyone feeling “uncomfortable” around the police obviously have criminal issues.

Pat Warnock
Member

There are plenty of other coffee shops

Rodney W Orr
Guest
Rodney W Orr

After starf##k us said they would hire raghead instead of “VET”, they lost my BUSINESS!!!! Maybe they should move to a Country that isn’t AMERICA” and try to make a living there and let “US TRUE AMERICANS” alone!!!!!!

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