The vice president of retail operations for the Starbucks coffee chain issued a written apology for the events that transpired in one of their stores on Independence Day in which several officers were asked to either relocate away from a complaining customer or leave the establishment.
A customer had said that the presence of the six officers in the store made them feel uncomfortable and asked an employee to address the matter.
The officers decided to leave.
Rossann Williams said in an open letter on the company's blog site, "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."
The incident sparked a tidal wave of criticism of the coffee chain on social media, with many officers and police supporters calling for a boycott of the company.
Williams continued, "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."
Williams then said she planned to visit Tempe to speak directly with the agency and its officers.