TEMPE, Ariz. — Six Arizona police officers were reportedly asked to leave a Starbucks on July 4 because they made a customer “feel uncomfortable.”
The Tempe Officers Association said the officers paid for drinks and stood together in the coffee shop when a barista approached them, according to ABC-affiliate KNXV.
The barista told the officers they were making a customer “feel uncomfortable” and asked them to move out of the customer’s sight – or to leave.
The officers decided to leave.
In a statement the Tempe Officers Association said:
“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.”
The Tempe Police Department said it was in touch with Starbucks’ corporate office about the incident.
“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,” a department spokesperson told KNXV. “Starbucks stated they are aware of this incident and advised this interaction is not in line with Starbucks values and will continue to work in strengthening their relationship with law enforcement.”
A spokesman for Starbucks corporate said the company wants to “to apologize for any misunderstanding or any inappropriate behavior on the part of our baristas.”
From our perspective it goes without saying, we want everyone who walks into our stores to feel welcome and have a positive experience,” the spokesperson said.