When two female deputies from Riverside County Sheriff’s Office walked into a Starbucks, they were treated differently than they expected. Since these officers put on a badge and load their guns to go out into the community every morning, they expected the baristas behind the counter to shine a smile in their direction and thank them for their service. Instead, the police officers reported that the Starbucks employees denied them service and even “laughed” at them when they walked into the coffee shop at 11 pm on the evening in December.
Blue Lives Matter, an organization created in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, came out to support the police. They contacted the Sheriff, who denied that his deputies were involved in the incident. Nonetheless, Blue Lives Matter refused to give up. They asked the Starbucks location about what happened, and the coffee shop also denied that anything occurred. But then Blue Lives Matter dug even deeper and took control of the location’s surveillance footage – and that was when Starbucks found their world turned upside down.
The security footage revealed that the two female deputies were not ignored, as they claimed. Instead, the Starbucks location simply had poor customer service, and none of the people behind the counter – the people who are paid to serve the customers – noticed that two uniformed police officers had walked into the establishment and were looking to order something.
Starbucks released the following statement following Blue Lives Matter’s offensive play. The coffee shop apologized for missing the opportunity to serve the sheriff’s deputies coffee at the late hour.
“There is simply no excuse for how two Riverside deputies were ignored for nearly 5 minutes at our store on Thursday evening. We are deeply sorry and reached out to apologize directly to them. We take full responsibility for any intentional or unintentional disrespect shown to law enforcement on whom we depend every day to keep our stores and communities safe. No customer, in or out of uniform, should ever have that experience at a Starbucks.”
Nevertheless, Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco was not happy with the answer from corporate.
“#StarbucksIncident 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 w/ @starbucks Corporate addressing the issue of deputies being denied service. #copwithnocoffee #starbucks.”
Then, forty minutes later, he tweeted: “Two of our deputies were refused service at Starbucks. The anti-police culture repeatedly displayed by Starbucks employees must end.”
Then Sheriff Bianco told Steve Johnson, the operator of a Facebook page, the following:
“The facts are undisputed in this case. Two of our deputies went into a Starbucks in Riverside, and they were ignored for a long period of time. They weren’t exactly sure how long, five minutes, 10 minutes, they think maybe it may even have been longer than that. But the bottom line, they tried to get served,” Bianco said. “They asked if anyone was going to help them. They were laughed at, and they were completely ignored, obviously ignored, to where other patrons knew they were being ignored.”
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