The Tempe Officers Association says six of their officers were asked to leave a Starbucks by a barista on July 4. The issue has caused the term #DumpStarbucks to trend on Twitter.
The association says that the officers were asked to leave over an objection from a customer. That customer claimed to not feel safe while the officers were there in the Arizona-location. Tempe is located just outside of Phoenix.
In April 2018, two black men were arrested for trespassing at a Starbucks location in Philadelphia. That incident resulted in the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks becoming a trending term. The Philadelphia police commissioner apologized to the two men. The next month, Starbucks closed some-8,000 locations in order to conduct “racial bias training.”
The Tempe Officers Association Says the Behavior of the Barista Is ‘All Too Common in 2019’
In a statement, the officers association said, “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. Unfortunately, such treatment has become all too common in 2019.”
Starbucks Said Their Organization Has ‘Deep Respect’ for the Tempe Police Department
Starbucks has said in a statement that the company has “deep respect” for the Tempe Police Department and that the company is reaching out staff to “understand better” the July 4 incident. It’s not clear if the barista in question will face disciplinary action.
Speaking to Fox Phoenix, the president of the Tempe Officers Association, Rob Ferraro, said that his organization was not looking for a boycott of the coffee giant. Ferraro said that the incident reflected a “new reality” for police officers.
The Police Department Says They Hope the Incident Is ‘Isolated’
While the Tempe Police Department has said that “It is our hope that the incident which occurred at Starbucks was an isolated incident between one community member and a single employee rather than an entire organization.” The department says that a representative from Starbucks has been in touch with officers and has assured them that “this interaction is not in line with Starbucks values” and that the company is looking to strengthen “their relationship with law enforcement.”
In June, Kay Jewelers Fired a Manager Who Refused to Serve an Armed Officer
In June 2019, Kay Jewelers fired a manager who was accused of refusing to allow a police officer to pick up his engagement ring because the officer was armed at the time. The incident occurred in Statesville, North Carolina.