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Starbucks apologizes after employee asks Arizona police officers to leave

By Gary Dinges gdinges@gatehousemedia.com
Posted: Jul. 8, 2019 9:01 am

Starbucks is apologizing to a group of Arizona police officers after an employee reportedly asked them to leave a Tempe coffeehouse.

The unidentified employee allegedly told the six officers that a customer felt unsafe with them nearby, NPR reports. The incident happened July 4, as the officers stood and chatted, sipping on coffees they had just ordered.

"Disappointed, the officers did in fact leave," the Tempe Officers Association wrote on Facebook. "This treatment of public safety workers could not be more disheartening. While the barista was polite, making such a request at all was offensive."

Seattle-based Starbucks said it planned to send corporate executives to Arizona to meet with the officers in person.

"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)," Starbucks said in a written statement. "Instead, they were made to feel unwelcome and disrespected, which is completely unacceptable."

Some on social media have said they intend to boycott the ubiquitous coffee chain as a result of the incident.

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