Starbucks finally apologized after messing up big on Saturday when they kicked a group of police officers out of their store in Tempe, Arizona.
As my colleague Elizabeth Vaughn wrote on Saturday, the officers routinely visited the Starbucks in question and were getting a coffee before their Fourth of July shift began. Little did they know that they were committing the crime of standing within eyesight of another customer who “did not feel safe” in the midst of the “police presence.” The staff asked the officers to either move out of the customer’s line of sight or leave the establishment.
Naturally, it did not go over well with the public, who proceeded to drag Starbucks across every coal they could find. This includes the Tempe Officers Association, which even came out with a neat little graphic.
Don't appreciate @Starbucks asking our #Tempe cops to leave your establishment on the #4thofjuly2019. Several of those cops are #veterans who fought for this country! #ZeroRespect pic.twitter.com/oGaDKhlYX3
— Tempe Officers Association (@ToaAz) July 5, 2019
On Sunday, the coffee chain issued a formal apology as written from its VP of U.S. retail operations, Rossann Williams:
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.
Two things can be true at one time. I’m glad that Starbucks apologized for the behavior of one of their employees toward a group of men who wake up every day, put on a badge and a gun and stand between us and societal chaos. An apology was desperately needed in this situation, and Starbucks did the smart thing by ignoring the SJWs who celebrated the kicking out of the officers and making it clear that they understand they goofed.
It can also be true that the response seems light compared to apologies they made in the past. It was just last year that two black men were kicked out of a Starbucks for what was perceived as loitering. In response to the outrage, Starbucks said that they would close down their locations in order to train their employees on racial sensitivity and eliminate their “unconscious bias.” As I wrote last April, when this decision was made, “unconscious bias” usually implies that the person being accused of it is racist without his or her knowledge.
Not only was it a useless waste of resources in the name of optics, it was insulting to Starbucks employees who were essentially called racist. Regardless, Starbucks was trying to look good to the SJW community who are never pleased by anything anyway.
Starbucks, so far as has been revealed, has no plans to shut their stores down for a day in order to train their employees to better respect police. Even the big-wig they’re sending to Tempe to speak to the PD is a lower level than the very CEO who flew down to Pennsylvania when the two black men were kicked out. Unlike that incident, kicking out officers doesn’t seem to warrant that level of response.
Starbucks showed their hand here, and I’m not entirely sure the people are going to consider the apology good enough.