Watch CBS News

Starbucks apologizes after California police weren't served

Starbucks is apologizing after two California police officers were allegedly refused service at one of the coffee chain's shops in Riverside, California. 

The pair of officers were "completely ignored because they were in uniform" before ultimately leaving and going elsewhere for coffee, Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco said in a video shared on Facebook. 

"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.

The coffee giant acknowledged that its employees neglected the deputies and said that the staff members involved are not scheduled to work while the company investigates the incident.

"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," Starbucks said in a statement to CBS News. 

Bianco accused the company of issuing a boilerplate apology. "They're doing corporate damage control. They want to downplay what happened," he said in the Facebook video.

Starbucks execs meet with Tempe police after cops were asked to leave store 03:40

He also highlighted the "anti police culture" he said is fostered by the coffee giant in a statement on Twitter: "Two of our deputies were refused service at Starbucks. The anti police culture repeatedly displayed by Starbucks employees must end." 

Starbucks last month apologized after a server in Glenpool, Oklahoma, wrote "PIG" on a Kiefer police officer's cups.

"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 the insult was fired for violating company policy. 

In July, a group of officers at a Starbucks in Tempe, Arizona, said they were asked to leave after a customer reportedly said they "did not feel safe" among them. 

Starbucks told the Tempe Police Department the incident was "not in line" with its values and that the company "will continue to work in strengthening their relationship with law enforcement." 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.