Starbucks apologizes after 2 sheriff's deputies say servers ignored them

Starbucks apologizes after 2 sheriff's deputies say servers ignored them

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The deputies were visiting a Starbucks in Riverside County, California.

December 14, 2019, 6:08 AM

4 min read

Starbucks is in the spotlight again for alleged mistreatment of law enforcement officers.

The Riverside County, California, sheriff’s department claims that two of its deputies were refused service at a Starbucks location on Thursday night.

Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco tweeted late Friday, “The anti police culture repeatedly displayed by Starbucks employees must end.”

The incident comes two weeks after an Oklahoma police officer’s Starbucks order had the name “Pig" printed on one of the cups. Starbucks fired the worker it says put the offensive word on the cup, and apologized to law enforcement.

"This language is offensive to all law enforcement and is not representative of the deep appreciation we have for police officers who work tirelessly to keep our communities safe," the company said in a statement following the incident.

When contacted about Thursday night's incident in Riverside County, a Starbucks representative told ABC News that the two California deputies were in uniform when they visited the Starbucks at around 11 p.m., and were ignored by workers for about five minutes.

“There is simply no excuse for how the two deputies were ignored,” said Starbucks spokesperson Reggie Borges. “We’re deeply sorry for that.”

FILE - This June 26, 2019 file photo shows a the Starbucks sign outside a Starbucks coffee shop in downtown Pittsburgh. A Starbucks employee wrote "PIG" on a Thanksgiving Day 2019 order placed in person by a police officer in Kiefer, Okla. A claim circulated on Twitter suggested that police submitted pig as the name on the order to draw sympathy. The company said in a Nov. 29, 2019 statement that the employee who wrote the offensive word on a cup exercised poor judgment and was no longer a Starbucks employee after violating company policy.

FILE - This June 26, 2019 file photo shows a the Starbucks sign outside a Starbucks coffee shop in downtown Pittsburgh. A Starbucks employee wrote "PIG" on a Thanksgiving Day 2019 order placed in person by a police officer in Kiefer, Okla. A claim circulated on Twitter suggested that police submitted pig as the name on the order to draw sympathy. The company said in a Nov. 29, 2019 statement that the employee who wrote the offensive word on a cup exercised poor judgment and was no longer a Starbucks employee after violating company policy.Gene J. Puskar/AP

The company contends the deputies were not refused service, but that employees were simply not attentive. Starbucks is launching an investigation into the incident to better understand if the deputies were intentionally ignored by the employees.

Starbucks tells ABC News that the two California deputies were in uniform about 11 p.m. Thursday and were not refused service, but inattentive workers ignored them for about five minutes. The incident is under investigation.

Officials with the company have said they reached out to Sheriff Bianco to apologize.

“We really want to connect with the two deputies, apologize directly, and hear their stories,” explained Borges. “We take full responsibility for any intentional or unintentional disrespect to law enforcement.”

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