PHOENIX – A group of police officers were reportedly asked to move or leave a Starbucks coffee shop on the Fourth of July because a customer felt uncomfortable.
According to a tweet from the Tempe Officers Association, six Tempe Police Department officers were drinking coffee before their shift when a barista told them a customer "did not feel safe" by their presence.
The barista allegedly asked the officers to move out of the customer's line of sight or to leave, the tweet states.
"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," the organization wrote. "We know this is not a national policy at Starbucks Corporate and we look forward to working collaboratively with them on this important dialogue."
Reggie Borges, a spokesperson for Starbucks, said the company is still gathering details about the incident.
"We have a deep respect for the Tempe Police and their service to the community," he said. "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."
Borges declined to comment about any disciplinary actions.
In a statement tweeted Saturday, Tempe Police Department said it hoped this was simply an isolated incident between one community member and a single employee, instead of reflecting on Starbucks as a whole.
"Starbucks states 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," the police statement said.
Contributing: Serena O'Sullivan. Follow Chelsea Curtis on Twitter: @curtis_chels.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Starbucks barista asks police officers to leave because customer 'did not feel safe,' police union claims