Starbucks asks cops to leave because customer ‘did not feel safe’ around them

(Image: screenshot)

Arizona police officers, tasked with protecting the public, apparently made one customer in a Starbucks shop “not feel safe” and were asked to leave.

Tempe Police officers claim they were asked to leave a local Starbucks on the Fourth of July where five of them had gathered for coffee prior to starting their shift because ONE customer complained about feeling unsafe, according to FOX 10 of Phoenix.

(Video: Fox 10)

The Tempe Officers Association reported that a barista at a Starbucks in the East Valley city approached the five officers who had already purchased their coffees and informed them a customer “did not feel safe” with them in the store, asking them to move out of the customer’s line of sight or leave the store.

Although the officers did leave, two of them who are veterans were reportedly “offended and frustrated” by the incident, according to Fox 10.

The president of the police union was “perplexed” by the treatment of the officers and noted how it has become more common.

“It’s become accepted to not trust or to see police and think that we’re not here to serve you, and again, it goes back to — we take great pride of the level of customer service we provide to citizens, and to be looked at as feeling unsafe when you have law enforcement around you is somewhat perplexing to me,” Rob Ferraro, President of TOA, told Fox 10.

The Tempe Officers Association recounted what happened in a series of Twitter messages on Friday.

The union did not blame the Starbucks company and said it looked forward “to working collaboratively with them on this important dialogue.”

Another tweet on Friday depicted a parody of the coffee shop’s logo with the words, “Dump Starbucks” and noted that “Several of those cops are #veterans who fought for this country!”

Neither the customer nor the Starbucks employee were identified and the company did not say if the barista would face any disciplinary action, but did issue a statement.

“We have a deep respect for the Tempe Police and their service to the community,” spokesman Reggie Borges told the Arizona Republic. “We’ve reached out to the Tempe Police Department and Tempe Officers Association to better understand what happened and apologize. We want everyone in our stores to feel welcomed and the incident described is not indicative of what we want any of our customers to feel in our stores.”

Twitter users expressed their disappointment and frustration with the treatment of the officers on the national holiday.

Frieda Powers

Senior Staff Writer
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Originally from New York, Powers graduated from New York University and eventually made her way to sunny South Florida where she has been writing for the BizPacReview team since 2015.
Frieda Powers

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