USA Today reports, “For the third time in less than six months, Starbucks is facing allegations of mistreating law enforcement officers. The Seattle-based chain issued an apology this weekend after two California police officers were allegedly refused service at one of the coffee chain’s shops in Riverside, California.”
Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco said on a video posted on Facebook, the pair of officers were laughed at and “completely ignored because they were in uniform. Quite honestly, that’s just not acceptable. It can’t be acceptable,” before ultimately leaving and going elsewhere for coffee.
“They tried to get served, they asked if anyone was going to help them, they were laughed at, they were completely ignored — obviously ignored to where other patrons knew they were being ignored,” Bianco said.
Sheriff Chad Bianco called further attention to the incident on Friday when he tweeted from his office’s account saying, “Two of our deputies were refused service at Starbucks. The anti police culture repeatedly displayed by Starbucks employees must end.’’
Starbucks spokesman Reggie Borges said it was inexcusable for the deputies to receive the kind of treatment they did at the Riverside shop.
“We’re deeply sorry and we have reached out to the sheriff to apologize, and we’re hoping we can connect with the deputies directly and apologize as well,” Borges told USA Today by phone. “We’re taking full responsibility for any intentional or unintentional disrespect shown to law enforcement, on whom we depend on every single day.
“No one, whether you’re in uniform or not, should have to experience what these two deputies went through in our store, and we’ll take the steps necessary to address it.’’
The employees involved in the most recent anti-police incident won’t be scheduled to work until an investigation is conducted, Borges said. He declined to the other incidents of an anti-police nature at other Starbucks outlets.
Starbucks last month apologized after a server in Glenpool, Oklahoma, wrote “PIG” on a Kiefer police officer’s cups, he was buying coffee for the town’s 911 dispatchers.
“This is absolutely unacceptable, and we are deeply sorry to the law enforcement officer who experienced this,” Starbucks said in a statement at the time, adding that the employee who labelled the cup with PIG was fired for violating company policy.
The company apologized, dismissed the employee who wrote the message and announced plans to host a “Coffee with a Cop” event.
In July, a group of six police officers at a Starbucks in Tempe, Arizona, said a barista asked them to move to a different spot in the store or leave after a customer reportedly said they “did not feel safe” among them, and their presence made him nervous.