Twitter has sprung #DumpStarbucks after employees at a Tempe, Arizona store asked police officers to leave because a customer “did not feel safe” in their presence.
On Thursday, the Tempe Officers Association tweeted a “Dump Starbucks” logo with the message, “Don't appreciate Starbucks asking our Tempe cops to leave your establishment on the 4th of July. Several of those cops are veterans who fought for this country!”
The association shared that on Thursday, while six officers were drinking coffee at a Starbucks store, an employee, who knew one as a regular, informed them that a customer “did not feel safe” with them inside the store.
“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. While the barista was polite, making such a request.”
Yahoo Lifestyle could not reach a spokesperson from the Tempe Police Department for comment. Starbucks and the Tempe Officers Association (TOA) did not respond requests from Yahoo Lifestyle.
TOA president Rob Ferraro told Fox 10, “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," said Ferraro, via a phone interview.
A spokesperson from Starbucks told FOX 10, “We have a deep respect for the Tempe Police and their service to the community. 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."
Back in April, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson apologized on “Good Morning America” after two black men were arrested from a Philadelphia store for not ordering beverages while waiting for a third person in their party to arrive. Video of the arrest caused accusations that the men were racially profiled.
“Those of y’all who want to #DumpStarbucks because some police officers were asked to leave are the same people who were real quiet when two black men were arrested for waiting at a Starbucks. But I digress,” someone tweeted.
But Fox News host Tomi Lahren tweeted, “If you ‘don’t feel safe’ around police, wait till you don’t have them to rely on. The disrespect for law enforcement in this country is disgusting.” Others also challenged the hashtag.
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