Tempe Police Told to Leave Starbucks. Starbucks Apologizes

Arizona: Six members of the Tempe Police Department were in Starbucks having coffee on July 4. One (that is 1, just one) customer complained that she didn’t “feel safe” with police in the coffee shop, so the barista asked the police to leave. Now Starbucks is apologizing to the Tempe Police department.

tempe police
Screenshot via Fox News

The Tempe Police Department released a statement on the original incident a day after it occurred.

Since the Starbucks corporation saw money flying out of their wallets over backlash from the incident…their apology reads (July 07, 2019):

Dear Chief Moir and the entire Tempe Police Department,

Thank you, Chief Moir, for the conversation today.  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.

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.

At Starbucks, we have deep appreciation for your department and the officers who serve the Tempe community. Our partners rely on your service and welcome your presence, which keeps our stores and the community a safe and welcoming place.

Our strong relationship with the Tempe Police Department has provided us the opportunity to host several “Coffee with a Cop” events in area stores, which bring residents and police together to discuss relevant issues and find common ground. We look forward to continuing to strengthen our relationship with you, and we agree that the experience of your officers requires an important dialogue – one that we are committed to being part of.

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.

I will be in Tempe this evening and welcome the opportunity to meet with any of you in person to address concerns or questions.


Rossann Williams 
executive vice president, president U.S. Retail
Starbucks Coffee Company

It is unclear if the barista was disciplined. The main issue is this: if one customer complains about six others, wouldn’t you just tell that customer to leave? Why would you tell six members of the local police to go away? One customer as opposed to six customers was not a smart business decision.

Starbucks as a corporation is notoriously left wing, and always has been. When two black men who weren’t customers went in to a store and were arrested, all the employees in 8,000 stores had to endure a day of “racial sensitivity training.” At one point a few years back, Starbucks corporate issued a rule that carrying a gun in the stores was forbidden, yet on one occasion it was a concealed carrier that saved a barista from harm. One police officer in Philly was barred from using their bathroom. They are a day late and probably several dollars short with their apology.

The difficulty is that each individual Starbucks may have the corporate lead, but franchises in different areas have their own ideas. In the Starbucks in our city, armed, uniformed police frequent the store on a regular basis, and customers and baristas regularly interact well with them, or at least seem to. Veterans also frequent the store, which has plaque on the wall to thank the local National Guard contingent for their service. The policies aren’t fully administered in all areas nationwide, fortunately.

H/T Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children


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Faye Higbee

Faye Higbee is the columnist manager for Uncle Sam's Misguided Children. All of her posts on Conservative Firing Line are also posted on Uncle Sam's.

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