Starbucks is doing damage control after a group of officers were allegedly asked to leave one of its Arizona locations. Why? Because a customer reportedly complained they did not feel safe in the officers' presence.
According to CBS News, the incident occurred on the Fourth of July at a Starbucks shop in Tempe, where six cops were told by a barista to either "move out of the customer's line of sight or to leave." The Tempe Police Department addressed the matter in a statement posted on social media, writing: "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 entire organization."
Police Chief Sylvia Moir also tweeted that the department "WILL be having conversations with the local Starbucks."
The Tempe Officers Association has since issued a call to "Dump Starbucks."
On Saturday, Starbucks issued a public apology to the Tempe Police Department. Rossann Williams, Starbucks' executive vice president and president of US retail, announced she had already talked to Moir and reassured the chief that the alleged incident was not in line with Starbuck's policy.
"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," Williams wrote. "When those officers entered the store and a customer raised a concern over their presence, they should have been welcomed and treated with dignity and the utmost respect by our partners (employees). Instead they were made to feel unwelcome and disrespected, which is completely unacceptable."
Williams said she will be in Tempe on Saturday evening, and invites community members to ask questions or express their concerns in-person.
It's unclear if the unidentified barista who asked the officers to leave will face disciplinary action.