ARIZONA NEWS

6 Tempe officers asked to leave Starbucks location

Jul 6, 2019, 1:51 PM | Updated: Jul 7, 2019, 7:16 pm
(Photo by Mairo Cinquetti/NurPhoto via Getty Images)...
(Photo by Mairo Cinquetti/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
(Photo by Mairo Cinquetti/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

PHOENIX — Six Tempe police officers were reportedly asked to leave a Starbucks by a barista after a customer felt uncomfortable by their presence.

The incident, which occurred on July 4, happened at the Starbucks off of Scottsdale and McKellips roads.

According to a statement posted by the Tempe Officers Association, six officers were standing together drinking their coffee when a barista approached the group asking them to move out of the customer’s line of sight or leave the establishment altogether.

The barista reportedly said the customer “did not feel safe” because of the police presence.

The officers left the location soon after.

“This treatment of public safety workers could not be more disheartening,” the statement read. “While the barista was polite, making such a request at all was offensive. Unfortunately, such treatment has become all too common in 2019.

“We know this is not a national policy at Starbucks Corporate and we look forward to working collaboratively with them on this important dialogue.”

Below is the statement from the TOA in its entirety.

On Independence Day, six Tempe police officers stopped by the Starbucks at Scottsdale Road and McKellips for coffee. The officers paid for their drinks and stood together having a cup of coffee before their long 4th of July shift.

They were approached by a barista, who knew one of the officers by name, because he is a regular at that location. The barista said that a customer “did not feel safe” because of the police presence. 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 at all was offensive. Unfortunately, such treatment has become all too common in 2019.

We know this is not a national policy at Starbucks Corporate and we look forward to working collaboratively with them on this important dialogue.

Starbucks issued a statement on the incident later on Saturday indicating that they had contacted the Tempe Police Department.

“At Starbucks, we have deep appreciation for your department and the officers who serve the Tempe Community. Our partners rely on your service and welcome your presence, which keeps our store and the community a safe and welcoming place,” the statement read.

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