Starbucks apologizes for booting cops over customer's complaint

A Starbucks logo hangs over a store entrance in Washington DC

The Executive Vice President of Starbucks has issued an apology to the Tempe, Arizona police department after some of its officers were asked to leave a coffee shop on the 4th of July. The barista - who knew one of the officers, a regular customer, by name - requested that they "move out of the customer's line of sight or leave", the association said in a statement posted to Twitter on Friday.

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.

A backlash against the Seattle-based company on social media grew - the #dumpstarbucks and #BoycottStarbucks hashtags were both trending - as the news spread. "The tweet, which ended with the hashtag "#ZeroRespect", said some of the officers asked to leave are veterans.

Association president Rob Ferraro said it was perplexing that someone would feel unsafe when officers are around.

The city of Tempe is just east of Phoenix where in May an officer held a family at gunpoint after their young daughter walked out of a store with a Barbie doll that hadn't been paid for.

Starbuck corporate headquarters calls the treatment of Tempe Police officers 'unacceptable'.

In June 2019, Kay Jewelers fired a manager who was accused of refusing to allow a police officer to pick up his engagement ring because the officer was armed at the time.

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A Starbucks spokesperson told USA Today that the company was gathering details about the incident, and had reached out to the Tempe Police Department and the Tempe Officers Association to apologize and ask for "better understand what happened".

Tempe police say Officer Joseph Jaen met with Chief Slyvia Moir and she accepted his resignation in May.

"Disappointed, the officers did in fact leave", the group wrote, adding, "While the barista was polite, making such a request at all was offensive".

Much to their dismay, the Tempe Officers Association tweeted about the Independence Day experience.

Williams insisted Starbucks has a "deep appreciation" for police, saying, "Our partners rely on your service and welcome your presence, which keeps our stores and the community a safe and welcoming place".

The Tempe Police Department wrote in a tweet that the incident "has been an opportunity to work together to strengthen our communal relationship". The teen died at a hospital.

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