A group of police officers in Tempe, Arizona, were reportedly asked to leave a Starbucks, because their presence made a customer feel unsafe. The local officers association has launched a campaign to boycott the coffee chain.
According to the Tempe Officers Association (TOA), six officers were grabbing a coffee before the start of their July 4 shift. However, the cops were approached by a barista, who said a customer “did not feel safe” in their presence. The barista asked the officers to move out of the customer’s line of sight or leave the store.
The officers left, and the TOA later excoriated the coffee chain on Twitter, calling on supporters to “Dump Starbucks” for the apparent disrespect shown to police officers.
“Unfortunately, such treatment has become all too common in 2019,” the association said.
A Starbucks spokesman said that the company is still investigating the incident, and did not comment on whether the employee in question had been disciplined or not. On social media, a familiar argument played out. Conservatives sneered at the “ungrateful snowflakes” who wanted the cops cleared out.
To the AMAZING Police Officers that were asked to leave @Starbucks because they made some ungrateful snowflakes feel “unsafe”🤦🏼♂️
Hit me up and I will hook you up with the guys at @blckriflecoffee
RT if you love our Police!!#DumpStarbucks
— Graham Allen (@GrahamAllen_1) July 6, 2019
Some disagreed, and argued that Americans are right to feel nervous around law enforcement. “I’ve never heard of firefighters or EMTs being denied service,” one wrote. “‘F*ck the Mailman’ isn’t a song.” Another argued that Arizona’s supposed racial bias in policing needs to be fixed, not Starbucks’ right to refuse admission.
Maybe people should ask themselves why is it that American citizens are increasingly feeling uncomfortable with police presence? What are they doing?
I’ve never heard of firefighters or EMTs being denied service.
‘Fuck the Mailman’ isnt a song. #DumpStarbucks
— Deon (@imnottayediggs) July 6, 2019
“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,” read another tweet. “But I digress.”
Starbucks was at the center of another storm of outrage last year, when two black men were kicked out of an outlet in Philadelphia, accused of trespassing. The store manager called the police on the two men for loitering without buying anything, but the ensuing backlash saw protesters descend on the store, and Starbucks close 8,000 stores nationwide for racial sensitivity training.
Starbucks also threw its bathrooms open to non-customers in the aftermath of the incident, a decision that led to a sharp rise in drug addicts using the bathrooms to shoot up. After numerous employee complaints, the company began installing needle disposal bins in its bathrooms earlier this year.
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