TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Starbucks officials were in Tempe Sunday to try to sweeten up their relationship with the Tempe Police Department after a recent incident where a group of Tempe police officers was asked to leave one of the chain’s Tempe locations over the 4th of July holiday.

[WATCH: In the middle of Starbucks controversy, Tempe Police speak out]

The group of police officers was asked to leave a Starbucks shop by a barista because another customer “did not feel safe,” according to the Tempe Officers Association.

"Tempe Police Chief Moir has engaged in conversation with Starbucks executives which will continue today and tomorrow," said Tempe police spokesman Ron Elcock.

[WATCH: Starbucks customers talk about police incident at Tempe location]

"This has been an opportunity to work together to strengthen our communal relationship. The Tempe Police Department prides itself in reducing harm within the community along with partnering with various entities who conduct business in our community."

[RELATED: Police officers say they were asked to leave Tempe Starbucks because customer felt unsafe]

Officials with Starbucks confirmed that Executive V.P. and President of U.S. retail, Rossann Williams, flew into Phoenix Saturday in order to meet with Tempe’s police Chief Sylvia Moir on Sunday to talk about the incident that happened last Thursday.

In a letter to Tempe's Chief Moir, 'An Apology to the Tempe Police Department', dated July 7, Williams explains the purpose of her visit to Tempe: 

Dear Chief Moir and the entire Tempe Police Department,

Thank you, Chief Moir, for the conversation today.  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.

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.

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 stores and the community a safe and welcoming place.

Our strong relationship with the Tempe Police Department has provided us the opportunity to host several “Coffee with a Cop” events in area stores, which bring residents and police together to discuss relevant issues and find common ground. We look forward to continuing to strengthen our relationship with you, and we agree that the experience of your officers requires an important dialogue – one that we are committed to being part of.

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.

I will be in Tempe this evening and welcome the opportunity to meet with any of you in person to address concerns or questions.

Sincerely,

Rossann Williams 
executive vice president, president U.S. Retail
Starbucks Coffee Company

Officials with the Tempe Police Department say Chief Moir has engaged in conversation with Starbucks executives which will continue on Sunday. 

We asked Starbucks customers what they thought about the controversial incident.

"I thought it was kind of ridiculous," said Robby West. "I’ve worked in restaurants most my life and if cops want to come in, they’re more than welcome to. All the time I’ve worked in restaurants, I’ve kind of felt a little safer when they’re around."

"They definitely shouldn’t be offended by the customer not feeling safe," said Nikayla Shaw. "They should really take that and look at it, observe it, see why and what they can change to make people feel trusting and more safe with the police force."

David Redonda disagrees with how the employee handled the situation.

"[They] should be scolded, and maybe be told to take a couple days off with pay maybe," said Redonda. "I don’t wanna take no money out of a person’s mouth."

"If someone feels unsafe, I feel like they were right with asking them to leave because I feel like no one should have to not feel safe in the environment that they’re in," said Shaw.

Sergeant Rob Ferraro, president of the Tempe Officers Association released a statement Sunday regarding the recent news:

"We would like to thank the public for the overwhelming support shown to our officers in the aftermath of this unfortunate incident. We are encouraged that Starbucks has reached out to our organization and to the Tempe Police Department to apologize and to further express their support of law enforcement.

"We hope that out of this unfortunate incident there comes a welcome dialogue, one that more closely unites the men and women on the frontlines of police work with the communities we serve and protect."

Then on Monday afternoon, the Tempe Officers Association and President Rob Ferraro released an updated statement:

"This afternoon, the six Tempe police officers asked to move or to leave a Tempe Starbucks on July 4, 2019, met with the company’s leadership and Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir. The meeting went very well. Starbucks again sincerely apologized for its role in the incident. In turn, the officers involved were given the opportunity to express in person their concerns over what happened. They came away from the meeting feeling heard and respected. 

As we have said previously, the Tempe Officers Association very much hopes that this incident reaffirms the important and strong connection between our officers and our community. We also hope we can continue to work in partnership with Starbucks and the Tempe PD on positive initiatives like “Coffee With A Cop.” 

While this situation may have started steeped in negativity, we remain determined to turn it into a positive moment for one and all."
Then, later on Monday afternoon, Tempe police released what they call their "final" statement:
"Over the past few days, Executives of Starbucks, Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir, the Tempe Officers Association and members of the Tempe Police Department have engaged in meaningful and positive dialogue related to the incident that occurred on July 4, 2019. Both organizations and the individuals involved in the meetings remain committed to serving and safeguarding communities while fostering inclusiveness, dignity and respect. This will be the final statement regarding this incident as we are working to move forward."
 


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

 

Tags

Locations

Recommended for you

(81) comments

AlexM555

The problem I see with Starbucks is their arrogance. They are such a huge conglomerate where they feel invincible and too big to fail. They only responded to this because it was police officers making the big stink over this “discrimination” against them by a snowflake customer who I feel should have been asked to leave if he/she was uncomfortable. Starbucks only responded because of the fear they would lose big $$$ over this flap.

Dean

What I wonder is if the complaining customer was planning on robbing the store, or if he/she had an outstanding criminal complaint and was afraid of being recognized.

Tractorhead

3tv. Starbucks has a history of being anti police. This has happened several times before. Why are you not reporting the whole story?

ObeyLaws

Continued attacks on our police offices - whether they be physical, verbal or this kind of nonsense - only erodes society as a whole. Law enforcement has worked hard to embrace the concept of community policing only to have the community spit in their face repeatedly. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that this kind of attitude will only exacerbate the divide between police and the citizenry. You can't continue to dump all over officers (aka human beings) and expect them to not react.

JF Conlon

Interesting how this thread deteriorated. Pretty clear just how it happened too.

docketman

Fire the barista, fu..ck Starbucks, your coffee sucks anyways

Comment deleted.
nutsplash

Frank takes these in prison 8======D

Comment deleted.
Tony G

Apparently, the mentally deficient Frank has a limited vocabulary consisting of these three words. Pathetic.

Comment deleted.
Tony

Channel 3 DO YOU MONITOR THIS LANGUAGE???????

Ohyeah

Am I the only one that can tell what race someone is just by their opinion of what cops should do when they're just drinking coffee and not doing anything?

Comment deleted.
azrider

yeah, 5 years ago. it's kinda trash today. i wouldn't raise a family in tempe anymore. it's best to be in south chandler/ocotillo, ahwatukee foothills (west of 32nd), or gilbert.

Comment deleted.
azrider

i totally agree and the employees at that establishment were clearly devoid of simple common sense that was either not taught to them or they were stoned or simply brainwashed by our media, entertainers and so called teachers.

Phillup Witgas

F starbucks.

Tony

Thumbs up on that, Phil.

BillyWillie

Starbucks is to big to fail, in some cases one right across the street from the other, oversaturated beast of a corporate/ government entitlement cooperative, overpriced coffee.

trsalemme

OMG HE FIRST FREAKIZNG SENTENCE!!!! "Starbucks officials was in Tempe Sunday......" Get the tide pods out of your mouth and go back to school.

tularockstar

This is left-wing, liberalism, at its ugliest!

Marley

F.u.c.k. Frank the tank. How do these convicts get online from jail?

Comment deleted.
tularockstar

Look in the mirror and see an id10t, doosh bag!

Tony

Was the employee fired? Yes or no????

ESS Teacher

My mother lives in Tempe. I have visited this last month (June) a number of Tempe Starbucks locations. This surprises me to hear this happened and it saddens me. There will always be people on both sides of the fences. We need to remember that no matter our race, these officers and other first responders put their lives on the line every day they go to work for us. We would not have the freedoms we have without them. The laws they enforce, allow us our freedom to live our lives without fear. Now, that customer that said, "I'm not comfortable with them being here." could have just left himself/herself. Maybe this person had a bad incident with a police officer before. Who knows? We do not know the whole story about the customer that said they are not comfortable. We don't know their race, gender, their thoughts/feelings about why they were not comfortable. Yes, this could have been handled completely differently. Thank you to the Tempe Police Officers for working to keep us safe. I'm sorry that you had such a bad experience at the location. Don't give up on Starbucks because of just one or two people at that location that made you leave. We have to remember, businesses have a right to refuse service to anyone, for any reason. A customer just made them exercise this right. They did the correct thing in taking it to their supervisor who was able to address it appropriately to Starbucks. Just remember, we only have one side of the story here. We have one view of it. We don't know the WHOLE situation on the customer's side.

Marley

Actually, they don't have the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason. You can legally refuse to leave if they cannot prove you are violating policies/laws. Proof of burden falls on the business owner. Certainly illegal to discriminate/refuse service based on race/sex/gender and so on.

Wearenotperfect

Careful Marley, your hypocrisy is showing!

Dean

Apparently you may refuse service to any one for any reason - other than homosexuals.

Fritz

Businesses have the right to refuse service to anyone for almost any reason. Businesses do it all. the. time. You cannot refuse service on the basis of race/religion/sexual orientation/etc but that is about it. I'm in business and refusing service is a big part of conducting business. If I don't think a customer is a good fit for my company for whatever reason I decline to work with them... Both of us are better of for it.

nutsplash

WRONG ON ALL ACCOUNTS- please read

JR in glendale

That is absolutely false. Because I, in fact, absolutely have the right. In Arizona if a store has posted notice that they reserve the right to refuse service to any person for any reason, the customer MUST leave when asked whether they agree or not. Not up to the customer. There is no exception; no burden of proof on retailer whatsoever. Refusal to comply with employee request by customer can result in a trespass warning issued by police, or arrest. I know because I have a store and have required the police to remove disruptive and/or uncooperative patrons upon occasion. I never have to "prove" anything. Store owners have considerable rights over what happens in and around their business. "The customer is always right" is just a saying, NOT the law! And what is the basis for your claim, "Certainly illegal to discriminate/refuse service based on race/sex/gender and so on."...? You're confused. I can't discriminate when hiring, but as a store owner I'm absolutely allowed to decide whom I serve...the customer does not get to make that decision for me. You don't like it...you can shop somewhere else...you have that option...but customers do NOT get to decide what they can or cannot do inside a store.

Tony G

I hope i never find out what store you supposedly own. Not only would I avoid your store altogether, but I would call for an all out boycott based on your flippant attitude. You maam, or sir, suck.

Tony

And neither do you. We don't need a gospel according to ess. Dutch Bros is in and starbuccccks is out.

Wearenotperfect

You are absolutely correct! Too bad Marley & Friends can't see the forest for the trees.

Marley

Blind leading the blind, you cant' fix stupid. Watch out for that treeeee, nevermind!

CptUSA

love all the pro cop comments. Would love to hear what you think after the traffic tickets

Marley

Guess who's fault it is if you get a ticket, or shall we blame/sue the cops for enforcing those laws?

Tony

I've had my share of tickets over the years and I thank God for cops. Does that address your funny statement?

1stupidsailor

You mean the tickets I get for committing a moving violation? That thing they do because of MY actions? Are you joking or does google direct you somewhere different when you look up responsibility? This might be the most hilarious comment yet, and we're still waiting for our local Antifa lemmings to pop in.

Phillup Witgas

WELL !!!!! Is the idiot that asked them to leave still employed ??? God I hope not...

azrider

Misguided, brainwashed, snowflake who can not think for his or herself. A product of an educational system that teaches you what to learn not how to learn.

LittleJoe

One cannot form an opinion on this subject without context which is missing. How many police were there? What were they doing, saying? These questions must be answered before we can begin to understand the situation. Was it two cops just hanging out? Was it several cops giving someone the stink-eye? Ultimately the barista was wrong for asking them to leave simply because they are police and she would likely get fired. If you tell a couple of black guys to leave no problem, but if you tell the guys with the guns to leave, big problem. The fact is in modern American society the cops can, do, and will get away with everything while everyone else must conform or suffer the consequences.

Marley

Did you take the time to read the story prior to commenting? Clearly stated 6 officers, 2 or 3 of them Veterans, paying customers, prior to their shift. Cops are actually held to a higher standard than the people they serve, so that shoots down your theory they can do what they please.

Wazoolie

You do know there are black cops.right Cletus?

BillyWillie

Don't look at that veteran experience as a precursor to prejudgement, just look at the facts boss. Does being a veteran exclude me from committing any bad acts? Looks to me like your standard is allow veterans to commit crimes and you slap on a FREE PASS to them all. My dad's a veteran and he told me to treat everyone equally under the sun. Tell you what though, I'm going to be respecting my doctors, pharmacists, and anyone who I don't want spitting on my food with high amounts of respect!!!

Marley

As it pertains to this story, the police/veterans were not committing any 'bad acts' with the exception of overpaying for sh*tty coffee!

Wazoolie

***YAWN*** Snowflake.

Fritz

What a racist! You assume that the cops were white, just like all the people who assume the border patrol is all Anglo-Saxon whites when its 50% Hispanic. A bunch of bigots who paint a broad "identity" brush over everything and are almost always wrong... Plus, the last time Starbucks tried to kick out some black people who were taking up tables in the store and not buying anything there were massive protests and the company apologized... There is a hilarious conservative black comedian who goes to Starbucks and demands reparations in the form of free coffee lol. Of course the little snowflakes give it to him and pretend to be all accepting.[beam][innocent]

BillyWillie

I'd advocate for the position of, what were they saying and what their demeanor was at the time of said incident. NOT walking in lock step with whatever media narrative is the flavor of the day --- highly contagious.

Marley

Pretty sure they weren't shooting smack in the bathroom, that was a different group of 'customers'.

1stupidsailor

You seem to forget the dumpster fire that came from the last time SB asked black patrons who were squatting and trashing the place to leave. Now they get to clean up needles on a daily basis. The cops were paying customers, the only lunacy is what results from people like you that make everything possible about race, which is almost certainly what led up to the entire incident. BTW, there are a LOT of minority cops, how do they fit in your little identity spectrum?

YoureAnIgnoramous

People are over reacting and their commentary lacks context. The Cops at the Star Bucks were picked-on for sure, there is not much context beyond that but what these officers endured is merely a sample of what black families have to face at the hands of corrupt cops who patrol their neighborhoods, right?

Marley

That's their delusion of 'corrupt' cops. Those black families, or any family, simply lack the respect for authority since cops won't give them a free pass to run amok. They constantly are caught wrongdoing and absolutely refuse to accept responsibility. That's why they resist, to try to shift blame/focus on cops that are forced to employ a heavier hand to put them in custody. Nothing new with that tactic.

Dean

Your ignorance is showing.

Maria Grazia Benson

The race card has nothing to do with what happened at Starbucks. You can solve the problem of the "corrupt cops" by not calling them for every family dispute happening in the hood. That is the most dangerous intervention in any police department.

Fritz

Who do those families you talk about - but most likely have never met because you won't go to their neighborhood hypocrite racist - call when they have an emergency? I'm sure they don't call the cops because they don't trust them because they are corrupt and pick on them? Or maybe you are just lying.

1stupidsailor

You mean when the cops cruise the neighborhood to stop blacks from getting killed by....you fill this part in. Who kills over 90% of black Americans? And who's in the streets trying to stop it?

Tony G

Thank you again, Rev. Maupin. Your comments are duly rejected.

Tony

Was the barista Fired? That's fired?? Answer.

Dean

Sure hope so. Of course if he were black (and I do not know) there would be rioting in the street.

AZ Native

Tony - I sure hope who ever the employee(s) were at Starbucks were fired. Too bad they will probably just give the little tenderheart a talking to. As for the customers, they are going to have a difficult time if the Police make them feel unsafe where ever they go. Guessing they wanted a scene and to get in line to sue a Police department as well.

LorraineMildred

So...the next time one customer says to a barista....in any Starbucks...I don't feel safe with the way that customer over there smells or looks, ask them to leave"...what will the barista do?

Dean

Leave him alone of course, after all he is not wearing a uniform and badge and could care less if the place was robbed or the jerk behind the counter shot.

Maria Grazia Benson

I don't feel comfortable having to stand around with a coffee and a muffin in my hands and no place to sit down because a multitude of nerds occupy all the tables and chairs while they play games on their phones. I also doubt that a lowly barista came out to remove the cops, more likely a manager instructed the employee. I commend the cops in question for not confronting the barista, they could have done it claiming their rights, instead they left and reported what happened to their superiors.

trsalemme

The worker WAS the one to come out. They knew one of the officers from multiple other times the officer had been in the store.

USNewsLink

Public servants and peace officers exist for one purpose: to benefit us and our quality of life in civil society. I cannot imagine what went through the head of the Starbucks employee to fail to tell the complaining customer that they should get up and move to another area of the store or else leave. Telling the officers to move or leave was the worst of all options. And, it could be interpreted by those officers as an overt act of defiance of authority and a "gotcha" behavior by the employee. I hope Starbucks teaches employees to handle situations like this in a manner that does not disrespect others, particularly those in uniform. It is bad enough to be overcharged for a lousy cup of coffee, but then to be insulted and told to leave or move exceeds all normal behavior. DISGUSTED BY THIS HORRIBLE EPISODE AND HOPING IT NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN IN TEMPE OR ELSEWHERE.

ArizonaG30

"another customer “did not feel safe,” why wasn't the customer asked to leave if he/she didn't feel safe instead of the "group of officers"

Fritz

If I don't feel safe somewhere I go somewhere else. Its not that difficult.

NotTrump2020

Thank you Starbucks for using this situation to start positive dialogue over a negative situation that should not have happened. People need to respect each other & treat each other the way they would like to be treated. Thank you Tempe PD for keeping our community safe!

Tony

Yawn.

Marley

I expect the chain to close again for a day for more sensitivity training.

Robs

They need to see if can find the bad apples on pre hire more better.[huh]

LittleJoe

You are referring to the Police Departments correct? After all, a bad cop can kill you with no repercussion. A bad barista can only give you bad coffee. The choice is obvious.

Wazoolie

...or spit in it. Clown.

Marley

Pretty good odds that if a cop kills you, you deserved it in the first place. You obviously don't care about the 99.9% of the other murders that don't involve cops or cops getting killed in the line of duty. Go back under your liberal a$$ rock.

Fritz

A recent study showed that there was more fecal matter on Starbucks cups than many other common surfaces. Don't just assume that those baristas don't have any way to get you!

USNewsLink

There is no need to close the store. All they need to do is to clean house of those whose behavior warrants termination. That will send to correct and timely message that needs to be conveyed to all concerned. Zero tolerance should be handed out with paychecks to reinforce the idea that employees are required to welcome everyone into the store.

AZ Native

Marley - It obviously didn't work the first time, doubt it will if they tried it again. Now they've given me another reason not to ever go into a Starbucks for their overpriced flavored water.

Fritz

I used to spend over $1000 a year at Starbucks. Then in early 2016 their CEO said he doesn't want Trump supporters to go to Starbucks. So I quit going. Thousands of others must have quit as well because their stock price plunged and stayed flat for two years (its been doing great recently). I went from $1000 a year down to about $10 a year. Starbucks is one of the easy ones to cut out but I didn't realize that until the CEO vomited his TDS on the table.

CptUSA

stock price has nothing to do with you...fritz or other dump supporters. It competition from other coffee companies and start ups. Sorry, you don't mean that much.

Fritz

Sorry CptUSA but you are wrong. Show me the competition or start-ups that caused the stock to drop immediately after the CEO made his anti-Trump statements. You can't because there aren't any. You are just making that up... I followed the stock closely after that incident because I wanted to see what would happen. What followed was a significant drop in visitors per store compared to the previous year. Starbucks board responded by getting rid of the CEO (his retirement was already planned but they bumped it up by over a year) and starting a "We'll Hire Veterans" campaign... Since your obviously not in business based on your ignorant comment I'll inform you that my $1000 a year along with the millions of dollars a year from other Trump supporters meant a lot to Starbucks. You see CptUSA, businesses make profits from customers who spend money at their business. When customers stop spending money they make less profits... One thing you are right about, the competition did see a boost from Trumps supporters who started spending their money with Starbucks competitors. Unfortunately you didn't understand WHY you were right.

1stupidsailor

Lol at LtUSA....yeah, because when I think investor, I think liberal...

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.