Normally it's the cops that decide who leaves or stays, but in this instance, a Starbucks' employee tried to play the authority figure. Turns out the company did not agree.
On the 4th of July, six officers went into a Starbucks in Tempe, Arizona to get some drinks. After paying for their coffee, they were told by an employee that a customer felt unsafe by their presence and asked to either leave the store or get out of the customer's line of sight.
The incident prompted social media backlash, with the hashtag #boycottstarbucks. The Tempe Officers Association shared their dismay of the event on Twitter.
“This treatment of public safety workers could not be more disheartening. While the barista was polite, making such a request at all was offensive,” they wrote.
Two days later, on July 6th, Starbucks wrote an apology to the officers on their website.
“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,” Rossann Williams, the coffee chain’s executive vice president, wrote.
"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.
“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,” shared the VP.
Franklin Graham weighed in on the controversy, posting to Facebook his appreciation that Starbucks issued an apology to the dishonored police officers.
"I’m glad Starbucks has apologized," wrote Graham. "Can you believe that six police officers in a Tempe, AZ, coffee shop were asked by a Starbucks employee to either leave or move out of a customer’s line of sight? All because the one customer told the employee they didn’t feel safe because of the police presence."
"That’s ludicrous," slammed the son of the late Billy Graham. "Hand it to Starbucks though—they posted a public apology on their website and said they were taking steps to make sure this didn’t happen again. I appreciate that."
"I think they owe them at least a free cup of coffee though!" suggested Graham. "The police serving in our communities need our support and our prayers. You may see an officer today—don’t miss an opportunity to let them know they’re appreciated—maybe offer to buy them a cup of coffee yourself!"
What do you think of the Starbucks' employee that tried to shoo the cops away and Franklin Graham's suggestion that Starbucks (or at least everyone else) buys the cops some free coffee? Share your thoughts in the comments! We want to know what you think! Thank you.