The incident happened at a Starbucks located in Riverside, according to a tweet from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. In the tweet, the Sheriff’s Department wrote, “we are aware of the ‘cop with no coffee’ incident that occurred in Riverside on 12/12/19 involving our @RSO deputies. We are in communication with [Starbucks] Corporate addressing the issue of deputies being denied service.”
The Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco was also made aware of the incident, and in a tweet regarding the incident, he wrote, “Two of our deputies were refused service at Starbucks. The anti-police culture repeatedly displayed by Starbucks employees must end.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, the police officers stood at the ordering counter and were ignored for five minutes; after a long wait, the police officers left the establishment.
A spokesperson for Starbucks, Reggie Borges, apologized for the treatment of the two deputies, according to a statement, Los Angeles Times reported. According to the statement, he said, “there is simply no excuse for how two Riverside deputies were ignored for nearly 5 minutes at our store on [the evening of Dec. 12]. We take full responsibility for any intentional or unintentional disrespect shown to law enforcement on whom we depend on every day to keep our stores and communities safe.”
According to the statement, Borges also said that Starbucks was very sorry for the incident and have reached out to the two deputies who were affected and apologized directly to them, ABC 7 News reported.
The news outlet also reported that the employees in question would not be working while the investigation into the incident is being conducted, and the company will be taking the “appropriate steps” into resolving this problem.
According to Business Insider, this wasn’t the first time police officers were refused service. Back in July 2019, six police officers entered a Starbucks in Tempe, Arizona. They were asked to leave by one of the baristas after a customer complained about not feeling safe in the presence of police officers.
Following this incident, Rossann Williams, the Starbucks Executive Vice President, released an apology to the police department, which stated that the officers “should have been welcomed and treated with dignity and the utmost respect by our [employees],” according to Business Insider.
Just four months later, on Thanksgiving in November 2019, another incident occurred. Officers were picking up their coffees but were appalled to see the word “pig,” written each of the five cups, according to Business Insider.
Again, Starbucks issued another apology following the November incident, saying that the actions were “absolutely unacceptable.”