Tempe cops kicked out of Starbucks because they made customer feel “unsafe” (and a note on disarming police)

It’s a sad day in America when cops (who run on coffee) are booted from a coffee shop because they make the customers feel “unsafe”. But’s that’s exactly what happened, according to this report from CBS News, in a Tempe, Arizona Starbucks (click on screenshot).

To be sure, Starbucks issued an apology, but this shows how far and how well the “safe space” termites have dined:

From the report:

A group of police officers in Tempe, Arizona said they were asked to leave a Starbucks by a barista following a customer complaint on Thursday. As reports about the incident went viral, the hashtag #dumpstarbucks started trending and Starbucks issued an apology.

The Tempe Officers Association wrote on Twitter that the six officers “stopped by the Starbucks at Scottsdale Road and McKellips for coffee” before their shift on July 4. The police officers said they ordered drinks and were told by a barista that a customer “did not feel safe” by their presence in the store. They said the officers were told to “move out of the customer’s line of sight or to leave.”

The proper response would have been to tell the kvetching customer, “Suck it up or leave yourself.”

The Tempe Police weren’t pleased, and released the following statement:

According to az.family.com, though, Starbucks did apologize, issuing the following statement:

We have reached out to the Tempe police department to try to better understand what took place and apologize for any misunderstandings or inappropriate behavior that may have taken place.

We work with them a lot on events, like Coffee with a Cop, in our stores and we have a great relationship with them, so we are surprised that something like this may have taken place.

I just want them to understand how much we value them and what they bring to the community.

It is too early to say what type of ramifications employees will face, if any. But we want it to be known that everyone who walks into our store should feel welcomed and embraced and to have the best Starbucks experience– and when that doesn’t happen, that is not indicative of the kind of welcoming environment that we want to provide.

The fault, dear Brutus, is then not with the organization, but with the customer who beefed, and with the entitled Starbucks barista who booted the cops. As happened when Starbucks booted two black men who, they said, didn’t buy anything (they were there for a business meeting), all Starbucks should close for a day while the employees receive “police sensitivity training”. And it would be nice if Tempe Starbucks stores comped the cops coffees (and donuts, if they have them!) for a month or so.

“Safe spaces” are the mantra of our era. This incident is minor, and likely won’t happen again, but it is emblematic of the offense culture of our era. Further, it does bother me that on many campuses, including the University of Chicago, many students not only dislike and demonize the cops, but there is also a movement to disarm the campus police. (I saw many signs to this effect during the recent student demonstrations to unionize the graduate students.)

That’s right—disarmed cops on the South Side of Chicago. How stupid is that?

The University of Chicago Police are indeed armed, and have full police powers, including the right to arrest people. This is necessary to keep students safe (and their parents reassured), as the University is surrounded by areas rife with firearm activity. When one calls 911 for police help, the U of C cops, who patrol a large area around the University, often respond before the Chicago Police. When, several decades ago, I was attacked by a gang wielding a big wooden stick, knocking me unconscious as I rollerbladed through campus), it was the U of C police who showed up when I called.

Further, there’s been only a single U of C police shooting in over three decades, when our campus cops shot a student in the shoulder last year who was attacking them with an iron tent stake (see my report on the incident here; which includes video). The student, who did not sustain life-threatening injury, appears to have been mentally ill. The police shooting was justified self-defense, yet many students demonstrated, and this is when the move to disarm campus police began. It continues.

There are places where campus police may not need weapons (tasers might be a substitute in cases of violence that needs to be quashed), but Chicago is not one of them. Until the gun culture of Chicago can be brought under control (in my view, best done by banning guns, which of course is a no-go), it’s simply idiotic to demand that the University Police, usually the first responders to violence around campus, be deprived of firearms.

h/t: Bill

 

145 Comments

  1. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 7, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Cops — Thought Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme was more their speed.

    • Pelmon
      Posted July 7, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      Yet there they were, smutzing up your lovely Starbucks. Sure, it was wrong to explicitly, you know, ask them to leave. Better is a hint at how very infra dig their presence is.

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 7, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    So what from the big CEO, another education class? This is a cop and they are the good guys. Whoever runs that joint would be fired. Do they have a boss in those places?

    • Pelmon
      Posted July 7, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      I think you put your finger on the problem. The employee didn’t feel any obligation to the boss, or even the company. He or she just felt entitled. That’s why he or she needs to disciplined, possibly fired. Otherwise it says they are so entitled.

      • Cindi Deschane
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        I agree, the employee needs to be fired. The officers were not doing anything wrong, but the stupid customer and employee were. They decided that they have the final say on who should be allowed in the store. Wonder what said employee would say if the store was being robbed at gun point and those same officers were outside and felt they should not go in since they were not welcome before.

      • rickflick
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        Agreed. However, an investigation would be needed to make sure the employee, during training, didn’t get the idea that he should handle this on his own. The employees should be trained to recognize a situation like this and be given a number to call to get advice on how to resolve it.

      • Jonathan Wallace
        Posted July 8, 2019 at 6:23 am | Permalink

        Do we actually know that the employee was acting on his/her own initiative? The Starbucks Corporation has made it clear that this action was out of line with its policies and values but what about the local management at the coffee shop where it happened? Someone was definitely at fault but not necessarily the person who actually spoke to the police officers.
        Also I think that the term ‘entitled’ is maybe rather more deserved by the customer who complained about the police being present. If you want to have your coffee without police officers (or any other category of people for that matter) being present then you will just have to drink your coffee in your own home but you can’t or shouldn’t expect to dictate who else can enjoy a public space alongside you.
        The employee who asked the police to leave definitely made a bad call but POSSIBLY had no personal objection to the police officers but rather a misguided sense that if one customer complains about another you have to evict the one being complained about. Such a notion is fair enough if a customer is behaving in an obnoxious way but absolutely not if they simply happen to belong to a group the complainant dislikes – police officers, people of another ethnicity, etc.
        Starbucks is certainly right to dissociate itself pretty promptly from the action of the employee and I entirely agree that the incident should be investigated and further action, including potential discipline, taken as appropriate.

  3. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 7, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    I feel about entering a Starbucks the way my grandmother tried to warn me about going out after midnight — nothing good can come of it.

    And I resent having to order in that bastardized Italian they speak. Guess I belong to the old school of Paulie and “Big Pussy”:

    • XCellKen
      Posted July 7, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      Paulie is complaining about Cultural Appropriation ™ lol

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        Sopranos were ahead of their time.

    • rickflick
      Posted July 7, 2019 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      Anche io mi sento allo stesso modo!

    • Liz
      Posted July 8, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      From the beginning to about 1:13.

      https://bit.ly/1MsQufO

      Role Models (1/9) Movie CLIP – A Venti Coffee (2008) HD

  4. FRank Bath
    Posted July 7, 2019 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    “Would the ISIS gentlemen kindly leave as you are making a customer feel unsafe.”

  5. Mark Cagnetta
    Posted July 7, 2019 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Just read about police departments in Arizona. They have taken literally the president’s feel free to rough em up advice. Phoenix police have already killed a record number of people. Have you read about the cops’ racist Facebook pages and have you watched the Phoenix police’s handling of the arrest of a black family because their little girl walked out of a Dollar Store without paying for a doll? I was a cop for 25 years and the people’s fears may not be so irrational. The recent actions of the Tempe police aren’t much better.

    • Posted July 7, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      Are you suggesting that all Tempe cops brought this on themselves, and thus deserve to be booted out of all stores? Give me a break. Yes, I know about these incidents, and there may be some racist cops on the forces, but you’re suggesting that it’s okay to ban all cops from all stores?

      • bascule
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think the GP is saying anything about _ALL_ cops, just that in that area it isn’t irrational to fear unknown cops since it is known that _some_ should be feared.

        Now whether that should translate to expecting people you rationally fear, but who haven’t individually been shown to be bad actors, to be kept away from you in Starbucks is a different question.

        As an observer from over the pond nearly everything I read about American armed police forces terrifies me.:)

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted July 7, 2019 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

          You sound like SJW. I like most of us live right here and kicking cops out of retail establishments is not rational. Something idiots might do.

          • Posted July 8, 2019 at 6:25 am | Permalink

            I think you have slightly missed the point. There is a lot of news going round about police officers in the USA committing acts of unnecessary violence, or reacting in an over the top manner to minor incidents.

            It’s entirely possible that a customer in a coffee shop might feel uncomfortable in the presence of police officers, especially if the customer is black and/or has had a bad experience with the police in the past.

            This incident only really steps into the bounds of wrongness when the barista asked the officers to leave. Actually, the story says they were asked to “move out of the customer’s line of sight or leave”. It’s still not right, but it seems a lot like people are making more of a minor issue than they need to.

      • Him Swetnam
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        I too was briefly a cop in a former life. While I agree with you that it is wrong generally to criticize an entire group based on the actions of a few, police are a self selected group, and the in group loyalty is intense. If there is police malfeasance in Tempe, and there may be reason to believe there is, then the chances are pretty good, I’d say that all, if not most of the force is aware of it, if not participating. Especially in a small department. Still, it’s dumb to kick them out. That barista, or Starbucks could see some selective enforcement in the future.

        Personally, my own experiences with the police have mostly been positive, even when I have broken the law. It may be because I’m an elderly white engineer. but my son in law is Mexican American, and being stopped in Arizona can be frightening for him. And, BTW, I’m sure getting tired of that dog whistle “SJW” tag. If you are not a Trumpster or alt right please find some other pejorative. Most of my own liberal generation have a hard time hearing social justice characterized as a negative. It sets my teeth on edge to encounter it here. Now are you going to call me a “snowflake?”

        • Posted July 7, 2019 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for your comment, but I can’t prevent readers from using terms like “SJW” or “social justice warrior”, and occasionally I use it myself. If it makes you uncomfortable, you’ll just have to live with it here. “Social justice warrior” now refers to those who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk: keyboard warriors. “Social justice” is still a term I think is positive, but not so much “SJW”.

          • Jim Swetnam
            Posted July 7, 2019 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

            Good answer sir, especially as this is your site. Forgive me if I was presumptuous. I can live with the discomfort in exchange for the good conversations here. What I was trying to express is that while SJW may mean silly college kids to you and the alt righters, it still brings back memories of the civil rights era , and the sanctuary movement, to name just two. This dates me I guess, but you were a conscientious objector, so your bona fides are well known. I can understand that you might define this term, with some justice, as “keyboard warrior,” but in my understanding the right has coopted this term as a pejorative for all progressives. Historian has a good take on this.

        • Historian
          Posted July 7, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

          You’re quite correct that social justice is a noble term and we should never let the right wing associate it with being akin to “un-American.” In their day, abolitionism and women’s suffrage were considered radical. Some can even argue that the American Revolution was a social justice movement. Now these fighters for social justice are justly honored. Yes, there are some people who get carried away with ridiculous demands, but their actions should in no way undermine the truth that social justice movements are as American as apple pie. We must never forget that the right wing is relentless in agitating for their agenda. They never give up and many liberals have failed to realize this. Attacking social justice movements is one front in their campaign. Liberals must resist them by being equally relentless. I do not and will never use the term social justice warrior. Certain actions by people that purport to fight for social justice can be justly criticized. But, I will always support movements that attempt to give all citizens a fair chance to attain the American Dream.

    • Michael Waterhouse
      Posted July 7, 2019 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

      The story of the police overreaction to the supposed ‘only’ crime of a little girl stealing a doll is false.
      It is an anti cop beat up as so many stories are.
      Stories that focus on a tiny sliver of situation or time, ignoring major aspects and context.

      The facts of that Phoenix situation were, all the persons involved stole something.
      The vehicle with those people in it refused police instructions and drove off.
      The vehicle stopped and let someone out of the car.
      Presumably that person wanted to do as the police were saying.
      The vehicle took of again and stopped a mile away.
      Police are now dealing with multiple offenders who have refused to comply with lawful commands.
      Given this escalation, by the offenders, the police followed the correct procedure.

      To present this as simply a over reaction to a little girl not paying (because black)
      is a lie.
      Another anti cop lie where truth and facts take back seat to narrative.

      That you present the simplified, anti cop, dishonest account makes me wonder.

      • Posted July 8, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        Nothing that you say excuses what happened. It barely even explains it. And that’s not my saying this, it’s the local Police Chief’s take on it
        https://edition.cnn.com/2019/06/15/us/phoenix-police-investigation-shoplifting-incident/index.html
        Shrieking obscenities and contradictory demands at people holding children, while threatening deadly force for non-compliance is never going be “the correct procedure”, and only someone utterly (and, one suspect wilfully) ignorant of police procedure would attempt to peddle such nonsense.
        We’ve seen special forces teams take down terrorists with less fuss than these eejits used to arrest an unaremd family. Only in some psychotically diseased fantasy was this “lawful commands”

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted July 8, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

          +1, partly for the use of the word ‘eejit’.

        • Posted July 8, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

          CNN chose to omit several salient details of the incident.

          The three adults in the vehicle were on a shoplifting spree, having stolen a number of items. Biscoe, the woman dropped off before the police stop, had multiple outstanding warrants.

          It’s unclear, but they apparently drove away from the scene, ignoring hails by police on foot to stop. This led to the vehicle stop at another location.

          LEOS must approach every vehicle stop as potentially dangerous, and an occupant(s) refusal to follow instructions constitutes a sharp escalation of the situation. Ames and Harper refused repeated instructions to show their hands and exit the vehicle. Ames had also violently resisted arrest last year, after he was found wandering high in the middle of a major thoroughfare. (The body cam footage of that incident is worth viewing to see how patient & initially calm the cops were, escalating only after Ames posed an ongoing threat.) Running the plates to discover Ames was the likely driver — and was driving with a suspended license and lapsed registration — the LEOs would not unreasonably have expected trouble.

          As he did during his prior arrest, Ames repeatedly announced he’d done nothing wrong and was cooperating, all the while struggling and resisting.

          After existing the vehicle, Harper was argumentative, ignored instructions, and attempted to walk away.

          Harper, Ames, and Biscoe are bad actors who regularly commit crimes, disrupt society, and pose public safety risks. Their bad behavior during the police stop is typical of miscreants. Stupid white perps act the same way all the time, with the same response from the cops. But that rarely makes the news.

          cf.
          https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2019/06/14/phoenix-police-release-report-controversial-response-shoplifting-incident/1461089001/

        • Filippo
          Posted July 8, 2019 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

          I look forward to your response to Matt.

        • Michael Waterhouse
          Posted July 9, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

          Were they unarmed?
          How do you know?
          How did they know?
          Why did they drive off ignoring commands to stop.
          They had all been shoplifting.
          They drove off throwing goods out of the car.
          The ‘offenders’ raised the stakes.
          Dravon was uncooperative and refused to get out. And he was reaching for something that could have been a weapon. And he already had form.
          The simple point is that if they had simply done what hey were asked to do in the first place and not escalated it, it wouldn’t have got to that stage.

          Maybe the language was a bit over the top, but when you raise the stakes for the cops you raise them for yourself.

          You can excuse them if you want but you aren’t doing the job.
          They were committing a crime.

          And, finally, my main point was the claim that it was all over a little girl forgetting to pay for a little doll.

          That is a lie.

          And that was the dishonesty I was mainly focused on.

          If you want a breakdown of what really happened check out Councilman Sal DiCiccio account.

  6. Diana MacPherson
    Posted July 7, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    This is what entitlement gives us: people who think if they feel uncomfortable everyone else must accommodate them no matter how unreasonable the request.

  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted July 7, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    … but there is also a movement to disarm the campus police.

    Don’t the Bobbies in Blighty still get by without packing heat?

    But then Moses didn’t descend Mount Sinai over there with the Second Amendment chiseled onto a stone tablet given him by God.

    • Posted July 7, 2019 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      As far as I know, some Bobbies now carry guns, but the gun culture in the U.S. is far more pervasive and dangerous than in the UK, where handguns are banned and rifles kept under strict control. When we adopt the UK’s system, then we can talk about disarming cops, whose job, after all, is to protect people.

      • Pelmon
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        Well, a problem here is just the number of extant guns. No one knows the exact count, but estimates range around 250 million upwards. You might be able to disarm cops where guns are rare, but when guns outnumber adults it’s more difficult.

      • Posted July 7, 2019 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        It’s only specific police units who carry guns in the UK, and they very rarely use them.

        Out of 18,746 incidents to which armed units were called between April 2017-March 2018, police weapons where discharged 12 times. This was considered too high.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted July 7, 2019 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

          Hell, the average American college campus can’t be any more dangerous gun-wise than the seamier side of London depicted in Guy Ritchie’s early movies. 🙂

      • Posted July 8, 2019 at 6:45 am | Permalink

        Normal British police officers have never carried firearms even in the days before the Hungerford Massacre and the Dunblane Massacre led to the banning of semi automatic rifles and almost all handguns respectively.

        You are right that we don’t have the gun culture, but we’ve never had the gun culture. I can’t explain why, but the general attitude is and has always been that guns are dangerous things and respectable people don’t have them.

      • Jonathan Wallace
        Posted July 8, 2019 at 6:49 am | Permalink

        “As far as I know, some Bobbies now carry guns”

        This is correct. Armed officers patrol areas such as airports and other locations with a perceived high risk of terrorist attack and there are also armed response units who are deployed to incidents where it is deemed operationally necessary/justified. Most officers including those on general patrol are not armed.

        In an ideal world US police would also not be armed but if they were disarmed from one day to the next this would certainly place them at serious risk. It would only realistically possible to disarm US police alongside a massive shift in gun culture in the US and major reduction in the number of guns (legal and illegal)in circulation but this is clearly not something that will happen soon if ever.

      • Posted July 8, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        There are armed response units in the UK. “Bobbies” (i.e beat officers) do not routinely carry fire-arms. I had a good friend I trained with for years (combat but not firearms) who was in SO-19 (the Mets armed response unit) and I used to talk to him about the intense repeated training and tests required to be ready to use firearms usefully in the field.
        He (and others I’ve known who did CPO or SF duties) find the gung-ho attitudes of the typical American (sorry, maybe not “typcial” but noisy and to the forefront) as regards guns to be laughably inept.
        One thing he pointed out is that the figure that almost always gets shot in live fire training scenarios is another officer with a gun–because in the split seconds you have to identify threats they look like one.
        Just gaining and maintaining the sort of combat readiness that keeps you on a knife edge ready to shoot the bad guys and not shoot the good ones would break most people. We see the sort of reactiosn that average Joes, the poorly trained, or the outright psychotic have to gun battels all the time with the aid of Youtube videos and poorly trained American officers. It’s not pretty.
        Consider the sort of training you need to fly a plane safely. They dont let you keep your licence unless you keep the training at a high level.
        Now imganine that actual gun fights are not just popping off at a couple of targets at the range (which we all know is loads of fun) but an active shooter situation, wth bullets flying back at uou and hard-to-identify in split-seconds–innocents crossing your path every second.
        Most people I know–including people with a string of black belts in combat sports–go to pieces in seconds once the stakes go up in a real fight. 99% of people who comment on guns have 0 experience of being in a situation that is psychologically and emotionally comparable
        Everyone I know who was trained to fire guns breathed a huge sigh of relief when they got to hang them up again. That’s the right attitude to guns. Anyone who starts off with “Its muh right to arm bears…you cant change the 2nd ammendment” should be disbarred, immediately, from ever having access to anything more dangerous than a spork ever again.
        “Mono Labe”? Dont make me laugh. Anyone who talks like that can be safely disarmed before they hurt themselves or shoot a friend in the back.

    • Michael Waterhouse
      Posted July 7, 2019 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

      Australian cops carry guns despite our strict anti gun regs.

  8. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 7, 2019 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    I have to report – U.S. women won the cup, 2-0. A pretty defensive game by all but the U.S. scored one really good one in the second half to make it 2 to 0. I think it was number 16 but do not know the name.

    • Blue
      Posted July 7, 2019 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      Thank YOU, Randall, for this !

      This person is #16, Ms Ravelle:
      http://www.ussoccer.com/players/l/rose-lavelle from
      http://www.ussoccer.com of the Beautiful Game’s USA players.

      Blue

      • Blue
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

        AllYa’All know that I meant to type
        … … Ms Lavelle.

        Blue

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for that. A very good left foot I would say.

    • EdwardM
      Posted July 7, 2019 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Rose Lavelle, #10.

    • Nicolaas Stempels
      Posted July 7, 2019 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      The very experienced US team showed how good they are, once again. The Dutch team’s game plan was to contain the US during the first half (the US team has never not scored within the first 12 minutes during this tournament). They did that pretty well -better that any other team-, although not without some spectacular saves of the best goalkeeper of the tournament, Ms Sari van Venendaal.
      The penalty in the 61st minute changed all that (yes, it was a controversial one, again, but probably deserved: not intentional, but dangerous) Trailing 1-0 the Netherlands had to change tactics and had to attack, which led to a beautiful second goal on the counter, by Ms Rose Lavelle.
      Despite the US being dominant, it never really looked a done deal until the last ten minutes or so.
      A very entertaining match and the US women showed why they are the World Champions.
      However, the greatest winner in this tournament was women’s football. How much better and more entertaining they are now compared to even a decade ago.

      • EdwardM
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        Absolutely, and the 13-0 win the U.S. had notwithstanding, the level of competition in this tournament was probably the best yet for the World Cup. Bravo to the USWT, true champions of the tournament; this one did not come easy.

    • Posted July 7, 2019 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      I just tweeted that second goal, a beaut!

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted July 8, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      Second goal was excellent. Reminiscent of one of the mazy goals Ryan Giggs used to specialise in during the late 90s early noughties.

      And then there was the fabulous Fox News post-match report:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3jwCrN67GY

      If you listen very closely you can hear the crowd in the background chanting something rude. Appalling behaviour obviously.

      • Filippo
        Posted July 8, 2019 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        Page four of the 7/7/19 Sunday NY Times has the headline, “To Other Teams, They’re Ugly Americans.” I don’t know that the players necessarily are, but in any international competition I always contemplate how the U.S. fans are going to act.

        Monday 7/8/19 hard-copy NY Times section one page eight has a photo of ululating U.S. fans. If you look closely, at the bottom is a young girl with a decidedly not-happy look on her face with her finger(s) in her ear(s).

    • Filippo
      Posted July 8, 2019 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      Nike has been good to get a coat-tails full-page ad the next day in the hard-copy NY Times. (The page one reportorial bloviating was almost toxic.) I reasonably suppose Rolex will be next. If I read correctly, FIFA has signed a deal with Budweiser. Will the U.S. team be in full-page ads quaffing a brew?

      I hope the team extracts every penny it can from Mammon.

  9. Jon Gallant
    Posted July 7, 2019 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Maybe the Starbucks barista was just a faithful reader of The Nation magazine. A few years ago, The Nation published an article favorable to the idea of abolishing the police altogether. The campaign to do so stems from an outfit called “Critical Resistance”, founded by Angela Davis as a substitute for her former home in the Communist party. It is dedicated to abolishing the police and everything connected with the police—such as courts and prisons. As for me, I confess that the presence of police does make me a trifle nervous after I have failed to come to a complete stop at a stop sign, but I wouldn’t begrudge them their coffee on this basis.

    • Michael Waterhouse
      Posted July 7, 2019 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

      That’s the thing eh?
      They are supposed to make us a bit nervous when we do something wrong.
      That way, most of us do mostly the right thing most of the time.

      • Marta
        Posted July 8, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

        Problem is, they’re starting to make us nervous when we AREN’T doing something wrong.

        I’m not relaxing around anyone who has a gun visible. That didn’t use to include the police, but does now.

        • Michael Waterhouse
          Posted July 9, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

          Why?
          What could happen if you aren’t doing something wrong?
          I was thinking about traffic.
          Visible police presence keeps people from speeding and shooting stop signs.
          It is annoying not being able to speed and such, but when we all do it, people die.

          It isn’t the gun that makes one nervous, unless you plan on trying to shoot it out, but merely the ticket, and authority telling us we’ve been naughty.

      • Filippo
        Posted July 8, 2019 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        Right. The policy is that the police are there to help ensure that the polity (herd) is polite. Politics is human herd management. Political science is the study of human herd management.

  10. Minus
    Posted July 7, 2019 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    I have been made extremely uncomfortable by having a heavily armed cop next to me at Starbucks. I don’t like it and don’t fall for the cops are the good guys line. Too many of them are arrogant bullies. And as for the old line about how most of the cops are good guys, sure, but they all know who the bad cops are and do nothing about it. Hurray for the Tempe Starbucks.

    • Pelmon
      Posted July 7, 2019 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      All we need now is the definitive list of what makes Minus uncomfortable. That list in hand we can finally enforce sensible rules about who is allowed where.

      • Minus
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

        Cop walks up to me, about 12 inches away, lays his hand on my shoulder and says, “How are you today,” his gun is inches from my face, his laser and club slightly further. I have too much first and second hand experience with police misconduct to feel anything but fear in that situation. Leave your damn gun in the car, and stay the fuck away from me. Yeah, lots of things make me uncomfortable and I live with it – bullies with guns, not so much. I’ve interviewed many cops and many cops’ victims. I have reason to want them far away.

        • Posted July 7, 2019 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

          In what capacity have you conducted these interviews?

        • W.Benson
          Posted July 7, 2019 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

          Something happened in the Phoenix-Tempe metropolitan area about 3 weeks ago that might help explain why people there are on edge regarding police. A black family was seen leaving a dollar store with a child carrying a doll that was not paid for. The store called the police. It may or may not have been shoplifting, but the following raw video, a video that has been seen by now by everyone in southern Arizona, shows what it looks like when city police go berserk:

          • Posted July 7, 2019 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

            It seems this guy had given the cops a bit of trouble last year, resisting arrest while high out of his gourd and grabbing for one of the LEO’s gun.

            https://www.abc15.com/news/region-southeast-valley/tempe/tempe-police-release-video-in-prior-arrest-of-suspect-in-viral-shoplifting-incident

            • Posted July 7, 2019 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

              Maybe, but for everyone’s good I do think the police need to be better trained at de-escalation and non-lethal confrontation. Drawing their weapons and threatening to shoot a family with a child over a shop-lifting incident is unacceptable in my opinion.

              • Posted July 7, 2019 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

                Well, there’s more. They’d stolen a bunch of stuff, and Dravon again resisted arrest, refusing to exit the car and instead reaching for something, which the LEOs feared was a weapon:

                https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2019/06/14/phoenix-police-release-report-controversial-response-shoplifting-incident/1461089001/

                Swearing like that never helps the situation, though.

              • Posted July 8, 2019 at 11:20 am | Permalink

                It was not simply a shoplifting incident. The occupants of the vehicle acted in ways that sharply increased the potential danger of the encounter. And repeatedly refusing to follow instructions — or just walking away — is guaranteed to get you cuffed.

                OTOH, screaming obscenities is not an effective approach. It only raises your own and the perp’s agitation level, while confusing the perp. (It’s actually indicative of fear in the cops, and those particular officers may not be cut out for the job.) A emotionally-regulated, commanding voice can be learned and should be taught.

            • W.Benson
              Posted July 7, 2019 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

              That’s why, I suppose, the police officers drew their guns, used profanity on, threatened, and pushed around his pregnant wife and their 4 y.o. daughter?

              • Posted July 7, 2019 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

                See the link just above.

                Not shoplifting in the first place, and not resisting arrest would’ve been great ways to ‘de-escalate the situation’.

              • Michael Waterhouse
                Posted July 7, 2019 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

                Just doing what they were told, instead of behaving in a confrontational manner may have been sensible.
                These people committed crimes and drove off away from police and the are known to the police, probably dangerous and yet the police have to pussy foot around.

              • Michael Waterhouse
                Posted July 9, 2019 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

                They drew their guns because criminals had escalated a situation into a potentially dangerous situation for the cops.

                Check out the whole story before jumping to judgement

          • Michael Waterhouse
            Posted July 7, 2019 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

            That’s not the whole story.
            Video shows probably all involved stole something.
            The police asked them to stop and get out of the car at the store.
            They didn’t and left the scene.
            The car stopped and let someone out and again left the scene.
            It pulled up a mile away.
            The offenders had taken a potentially low level situation and amplified it considerably.
            Police have training to deal with higher risk situations. Which is exactly what it had become.
            Once again truth is swamped by anti cop narrative.

      • Pelman
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

        A mathematical symbol walks up to me, shoves his adjoins operation in my face and engages in a non-sequitur. I was uncomfortable!

        No one denies some people have had bad experiences with cops. Many people have bad experiences with bald men, girls with blue hair, Geography teachers. None of which justifies excluding other bald men, blue haired girls, or geography teachers who are engaging in no disruptive behavior at all. You are simply claiming a right of veto.

        • Mark Perew
          Posted July 8, 2019 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

          “A mathematical symbol walks up to me, shoves his adjoins operation in my face and engages in a non-sequitur. I was uncomfortable!”

          A math operator is not likely to have either the legal authority or the outright power to subtract your life or liberty, with or without probably cause.

        • Filippo
          Posted July 8, 2019 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

          “Many people have bad experiences with bald men… .”

          Many bald men have had bad experiences with people who, despite having had the good fortune to win the tonsorial genetic lottery, find it not sufficient to be grateful for having so won and find it good sport to make fun of those less fortunate. Then, if those less fortunate opt to seek remedies, they are accused of egotism/vanity by the more fortunate.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted July 7, 2019 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      But I bet you didn’t ask the barista to make the cop leave. I feel very uncomfortable around a lot of people but I deal with it or I leave. They have as much right to be there as I do regardless of their occupation. I’m sure there are some people who are uncomfortable with white atheist women and I’d hate to be asked to leave based on how I look.

    • Mike Deschane
      Posted July 7, 2019 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I as well am disconcerted on seeing a cop having to wear a bullet proof vest, in Arizona heat no less, and the rabid Arizona gun culture that makes this necessary. I will give up my seat for them if need be.

      Joe Arpio and his racist minions are the bad guys, not the cop sitting next to you in whatever space you choose to visit.

    • Posted July 7, 2019 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      Well, Minus, I suspect cops make you uncomforable–until you need one.

      I’m sorry that they violate your safe space, but if we eliminate cops, we get the equivalent of the Montreal police strike: order breaks down completely.

      Your “Hurray for the Tempe Starbucks” is a shameful and reprehensible comment

    • Posted July 7, 2019 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

      So you think you have a right to have coffee at Starbucks while police officers do not because you think some are arrogant bullies? Privileged are we?

    • Posted July 7, 2019 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      If I was inclined to stick up a coffee shop I’d definitely see Starbucks as a safe place.

    • Hunt
      Posted July 8, 2019 at 1:50 am | Permalink

      Gotta say I kind of agree with Minus. Anyone who thinks cops are generally good and that there are just a few bad apples hasn’t been paying attention to the minor revolution that is the cop watch movement and video documentation that exists on Youtube. Go spend a month or two watching cop watch videos and then come back and say whether you still believe the “few bad apples” argument. Cops have terrorized the country for going on a century. It’s not that they’ve gotten any worse. It’s that technology, cell phone cameras, body cams, etc. has finally caught up with their shenanigans.

      As an act of protest, I think banning cops from businesses is fine. It sends a message, and hits them where it hurts, their dignity. Qualified immunity gives cops a lot of leeway for bad behavior. They’re held to account for very little. This is a tiny, minuscule way to equal the score by way of peaceful protest.

      BTW, this isn’t the first time it’s happened. There was another case in Oregon a year or two ago.

      Again, watch the videos. They’ll open your eyes to what’s happening in this country.

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted July 8, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        The argument isn’t “do we think bad stuff has happened because of cops”. The argument is “is it okay for a customer to decide someone makes them feel uncomfortable so that person should leave?” Remember, this criteria can change often and is as varied as the individual. Next time, it might be you who someone doesn’t like the looks of.

        • rickflick
          Posted July 8, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

          Try a different scenario. A person “down on their luck”, smelling of rotgut and vomit, is sleeping in a booth across from you while you try to enjoy a burger and fries. You are decidedly uncomfortable. Is it your place to ask the manager to rid the place of that vermin? Would it be OK for the manager to ask the cops in the adjacent booth to shoo the guy out? On a cold winter night?

          • Diana MacPherson
            Posted July 8, 2019 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

            Sleeping in the Starbucks isn’t being a paying customer but no I wouldn’t ask the person to leave. If I found that person annoying I’d leave.

      • Roo
        Posted July 8, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

        Think about your axioms here. You’re saying that:

        – Seeking high emotion, scare value examples that prove your forgone conclusion, rather than looking at statistics, is the way to go.

        – It’s ok to exclude groups that you have a problem with.

        This is the thinking that is so often used against minorities, immigrants and other vulnerable groups. You can’t encourage it in one setting and assume people are going to drop it in another. If you encourage people to think this way about whatever group makes them uncomfortable, people will do it across the board.

    • darrelle
      Posted July 8, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      “Too many of them are arrogant bullies. And as for the old line about how most of the cops are good guys, sure, but they all know who the bad cops are and do nothing about it.”

      I agree entirely with that. Law enforcement in the US can reasonably be classified as a serious issue. Many former and even current law enforcement personnel say so themselves. But I disagree with you about this Starbucks incident.

    • Filippo
      Posted July 8, 2019 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      ” . . . heavily armed cop next to me at Starbucks.”

      Please give a specific inventory of how heavily the cop was armed.

  11. Roo
    Posted July 7, 2019 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Well, there are constantly half-truth stories (by that I mean, they tend to be printed with key facts and background omitted, at least until conservative media catches up, at which point people have moved on,) sensationalized in the media about the police, so in some sense I can see how the average Joe or Jane Schmo would start to feel wary, after being bombarded with such stories all the time. I feel like the public’s media exposure relationship with the police is bizarre. In the 90’s, there were cases of police brutality (Rodney King and Abner Louima come readily to mind,) that will haunt my nightmares and cause me to be semi-religious for the rest of my life (I prefer to think of this dimension as samsara or a vale of tears, it’s hard to process aspects of it otherwise.) But in those days, while those cases got publicity, there was still a huge push towards the 90s version of the War On Crime (enough so that, if I remember correctly, it has haunted a fair number of politicians with an otherwise extremely progressive voting record). Now there are cases where the police are villainized for basically doing their job. Maybe I’m cynical but I feel like the Outrage O Meter tracks much better with political expediency than what is actually happening at the time.

    The far Left seems to be attempting an attitude towards police now that mirrors their attitude towards soldiers during the Vietnam War. I suspect the results will be similar.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted July 7, 2019 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      Stories of “the Left” mistreating soldiers returning from Vietnam are greatly exaggerated. Sure, no doubt some “hippie chicks” at some time spat at some uniformed soldiers in the San Francisco airport (the main point of disembarkation for GIs returning from Southeast Asia) and called them “baby killers.” But those stories are largely urban lore. Many of the “hippie chicks,” so-called, had friends and brothers and cousins and even boyfriends serving in-country to whom the wrote regularly.

      And many of the people you probably consider “far left” — like Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden — were among the antiwar activists who set up GI Coffeehouses just outside military bases, to support returning GIs and to give them a place to discuss their experiences. Plus, many veterans who served in Vietnam themselves joined — and even took leadership roles in — the antiwar movement.

      The American boys who served in Vietnam were much more mistreated by the government that sent them into that quagmire than by their peers upon their return.

      • Roo
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        It’s a fair point that there is no way to know for sure how widespread arranging soldiers was. As a point of interest, an opinion article that says it was more common than stated:

        Disrespect for Vietnam vets is fact, not fiction

        and one that says reports were exaggerated:

        The Myth of the Spitting Antiwar Protestor

        Either way, I think it’s fair to say it happened, but again, the degree to which it happened seems speculative. I was born well after the war ended so can’t claim any anecdotal or personal experience on that one.

        I’m not particularly familiar with the politics of Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden. I will admit that “far Left” is a vague term that generally refers to “people to the Left of me whose opinions or actions I don’t like”. To my family, I am far Left (Politically, my parents have been wondering where they went wrong ever since I came home with my first fast food paycheck and, when they pointed out how high the taxes were, said I was proud to pay taxes to my country.) Many seemingly run-of-the-mill liberals, these days, have assumed in comments sections that I must be a very conservative Republican, seeing as how I don’t support things like open borders (which makes me laugh – I’m from a Trump state… I’m like “Oh honey, get out of that liberal bubble. You have not seen what actual far Righters look like, not even close.”)

        At any rate, while “the far Left” is an imprecise term at best, for my commenting purposes here, I think it’s enough to say that it is “some portion of the Left that exists in some way, whatever your particular sentiments about that group and whether they are really representative of “Left-ness”.

        • Roo
          Posted July 7, 2019 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

          “Haranguing”, not arranging. Auto-correct, apologies.

  12. pablo
    Posted July 7, 2019 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    The sad thing is had the barista refused the customer’s request, and that customer complained to corporate, the barista would likely have been very publicly fired.

  13. dd
    Posted July 7, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    And the only thing Starbucks has done is apologized?

    I clearly recall that in other “please leave” instances from Starbucks, the event became a national social cataclyms, practically, and the company turned itself out with Human Resources interventions, etc…etc.

  14. Jeannie Hess
    Posted July 7, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    There’s not much crime in my small town. The cops are not scary. I did once see two macho citizens in Target: one had his rifle strapped over his shoulder; one held his assault style weapon across his body with both hands. They swaggered and grinned. Yes, I felt uncomfortable in their presence, but I know nothing about guns except that this was legal.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted July 7, 2019 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      Now that is something to fear. It wouldn’t hurt to let your Target store know you do not like this. Might keep you out of the store and many of your friends. Target does not have to let those morons in the store.

      • Posted July 7, 2019 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

        I am not sure whether Target can ban people from their stores in such “open carry” states.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted July 7, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

          I recall running into this before and believe a private company gets to make the call but I’ll look into it. Even some federal property gets to say no such at court houses, certainly jails. I believe some schools, universities were also going to fight this but will check. Probably you get to take all the guns and ammo you want to a national park.

          • Mark R.
            Posted July 7, 2019 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

            I was caught in Yosemite Nat’l Park with a .22 and ammo. The ranger confiscated the bullets and escorted me out of the park. That was 30 years ago or so, maybe they allow it now.

            • Posted July 7, 2019 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

              By an act of Congress, since 2010 one can possess but not fire loaded firearms in National Parks.

          • Pelmon
            Posted July 7, 2019 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

            It varies by state. In Georgia stores can ban guns IF they post prominent signs. The signs are obligatory. Georgia is one of the more gun friendly states, so I expect you can ban them in most states. That will deal with the doofus with the rifle, but most guns are concealed carry. So there will be little enforcement of the ban even if they have it.

        • Randall Schenck
          Posted July 7, 2019 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

          As best I can tell, in a hurry. All private businesses have the final say on guns on their property. So Target or any other firm can say no. I would say, never believe what these right to carry people say. Check the law in whatever state you live because they vary a great deal. Speaking of Starbuck – the CEO, Howard Schultz published a letter asking customers not to bring guns. That was stupid. Either he likes guns or just does not know the law. Gun owners do a lot of protesting outside his places because of his stupid letter. He should just say no guns.

          I realize people are intimidated by the court and the bad interpretation of the second amendment. It is easy to be tricked and think the gun owners have all the rights. They do not. You can throw the gun lovers out of your business. It is bad for business if you don’t.

        • XcellKen
          Posted July 7, 2019 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

          In Texas, a store can ban open carry, if they have a sign of a certain size posted at the entrance. All of the signs I’ve ever seen have the exact same wording. And about 99%+ of stores have these signs. I wonder how many millions of $$$ that cost??? I wonder if the Republicans that passed Open Carry care ???

  15. Nicolaas Stempels
    Posted July 7, 2019 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Safe spaces? I propose a (voluntary) padded room for all that seek a ‘safe space’. It can’t get safer than that, or what?

    • Deodand
      Posted July 7, 2019 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      They already have those, they are relaxing rooms with pale blue walls, soothing music, beanbags, videos of puppy dogs (sex indeterminate) gambolling around, play-doh and crayons with lots of paper to draw on…

  16. Leigh
    Posted July 7, 2019 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Police make me uncomfortable. Many of us have experienced harassment at the hands of police officers. Many of us can still experience outrage every time a minority youth is killed by officers who are rarely held to account.

    Respect is earned. Police have not earned mine. While I wouldn’t ask for officers to leave — I’d probably eat quickly or get a take-out box — I can understand people who would.

    Until the police clean up their act, they aren’t welcome to eat with me.

    • Posted July 7, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Okay. Leave. It’s your right.

      • Pelmon
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

        Hmmm. Might leaving be a micro-aggression?

      • darrelle
        Posted July 8, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

        Why make this comment?

        • Posted July 8, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

          I thought it was obvious. To point out and agree that Leigh has every right not to eat or drink in the same establishment as the police. He can leave. What he cannot do is demand or expect that they leave (unless he is eating in his own home.)

          Why did you make this comment? Are you the comment police?

          • darrelle
            Posted July 8, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

            Any time I feel like it, yes.

            I thought your comment was obvious. There was no reason for it except to condescend. Leigh apparently wrote nothing that you disagree with, which perhaps you missed or maybe not. If not your comment only makes you look worse.

    • Posted July 7, 2019 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

      Which minority youth killed by police outraged you?

    • Michael Waterhouse
      Posted July 7, 2019 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

      What about the non minority youth who are killed.
      There are quite a few.
      And mostly they are held to account.

  17. Steve Gerrard
    Posted July 7, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Starbucks: “But we want it to be known that everyone who walks into our store should feel welcomed and embraced and to have the best Starbucks experience– and when that doesn’t happen, that is not indicative of the kind of welcoming environment that we want to provide.”

    So what happens if you have a customer, and a group of police officers, and the customer is unhappy about the police presence? They can’t both have “the best Starbucks experience.”

    Just as with free speech, free “presence” means putting up with other people you might not like when in public places. In some ways it seems like the “corporate speak” itself needs to be updated to the realities of public life.

    • Posted July 7, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Yeah. That “everyone should feel welcomed and embraced” crap is pure corporate BS. A statement that Starbucks serves everyone would suffice.

      • Pelmon
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        Simple to state really: Everyone is welcome, only certain behaviors are not. If the patron is not behaving badly we will not ask him to leave.

        FWIW the best Starbucks experience is continuing on to another coffeeshop.

  18. Historian
    Posted July 7, 2019 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Someone in the Starbucks felt unsafe with police around. Many white people feel unsafe with black people around. Both incidents are examples of the “hasty generalization” logical fallacy. It is “by definition, an argument based on a hasty generalization [that] always proceeds from the particular to the general. It takes a small sample and tries to extrapolate an idea about that sample and apply it to a larger population, and it doesn’t work.” People are very quick to stereotype others who are not of their group. Such a condition is very hard to overcome. One group stereotypes police as the gestapo. Another group stereotypes blacks as thugs and criminals. If our society cannot temper this condition then the social fabric will continue to fray. Our president is accelerating the disintegration.

    https://www.thoughtco.com/hasty-generalization-fallacy-1690919

    • Jim Swetnam
      Posted July 7, 2019 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

      I fall into this fallacy far too often.

      • Jonathan Wallace
        Posted July 8, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

        We all do, I guess, to a greater or lesser extent. Recognising our susceptibility to over-hasty generalisations, confirmation bias and other irrational thought processes is perhaps the best defence against falling into them.

    • Posted July 8, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      It’s important to remember that all our ancestors survived long enough to become our ancestors thanks to ‘hasty generalizations’. My horses spook at every rustling in the bushes, whether it’s just the wind or a falling pine cone or a deer, because it might also be a lion.

      If you’re a black and most of the cops you’ve encountered are jerks, it’s natural to expect all cops to be jerks. And if you’re a cop, and most of the perps you encounter are black, it’s natural to expect all blacks you encounter to be perps.

      I’m all for ‘awareness training’ and whatnot, bu we need to realistic about trying to eradicate innate behavior.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted July 8, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        We’ve also gotten to the point in our history where we’re perfectly capable of doing a lot better than that.

        Plenty of things are natural, especially from an evolutionary standpoint. Rape is natural. Homophobia: very natural.

        But one of the most distinctive signs of civilisational progress is the extent to which we’ve stopped just giving in to ‘natural’, ‘ingrained’ instincts.

        What good comes from telling cops that their prejudices against black people aren’t as indefensible as society has claimed? How would that help anyone, on either side?

        Sure, we’re not going to eliminate prejudice altogether. But society is built on hundreds, even thousands, of ideals that we aim towards, even though we’ll probably never quite reach them.

        • Posted July 8, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

          You can’t cure a disease if you’ve mistaken the etiology.

          • Saul Sorrell-Till
            Posted July 8, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

            Agreed, but that wasn’t my point.

            My objection was to the idea that we should relax attitudes to instinctive prejudices. Instinctive prejudices are exactly what we’ve spent thousands of years trying to beat back. Not being relaxed about them is a good thing.

            And I didn’t suggest ‘curing’ anything. I don’t really see how you can ‘cure’ something like hostility to outgroups – people are endlessly inventive in their ability to be shitty to one another based on collective differences – but you can certainly make it worse, and engaging in apologetics about bad police behaviour is a good way to do that.

            • Posted July 8, 2019 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

              Agreed, but that wasn’t my point.

              Okay, but it’s obvious you didn’t get mine.

              • Saul Sorrell-Till
                Posted July 9, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

                I’m not surprised. You have a habit of coming out with the most reactionary stuff and then dancing away at the last minute when you get pulled up on it.

              • Posted July 9, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

                I am very careful when choosing my words to be as precise and clear as possible. I can’t be held responsible if you read into my comment ‘reactionary stuff’ that was not there.

  19. Posted July 7, 2019 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    To me, there is a disconnect here between the claim that the police are arrogant bullies who scare people and the fact that someone had the temerity to request that they be asked to leave, which they meekly did. Can anyone imagine someone asking the police to leave an establishment in a real police state like North Korea?

    • Michael Waterhouse
      Posted July 7, 2019 at 11:59 pm | Permalink

      That same thought crossed my mind.
      Bullies and oafs don’t tend to behave like that.

    • Posted July 8, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      If you were genuinely afraid of those cops, you wouldn’t risk a confrontation by asking the barista to ask them to leave.

      By taking seriously claims of ‘feeling unsafe’ and treating them as tangible threats to safety, we’ve handed the narcissists and provocateurs a mighty cudgel.

  20. Randall Schenck
    Posted July 7, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    This posting and some of the comments really makes me laugh. Just up the road about a mile from my place, Rock Rd. and 29th, if you are interested is a Starbucks. I go by there all the time because there’s lots of places on Rock Rd. There are almost always Police cars there, sometimes two or more. I use to think they held meeting there but maybe they get a deal on the coffee. If I ran the place I would give them a deal. This is Wichita, Kansas and we like the police.

  21. Laurance
    Posted July 7, 2019 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Did I miss something? I don’t remember seeing whether the complaining customer was black or white.

    I can understand a black person feeling really uncomfortable with six armed cops nearby. But still, if the cops weren’t doing anything threatening…

    A white person? No. I don’t see a white person having the kind of trouble black people do. A white person complaining that six cops coming in to get their coffee has a real problem.

    Now, I can understand a customer being seriously stressed by the sight of a group of people whom they have found dangerous and threatening. Many years ago I went through a period of being seriously afraid of men (and I’m not going to go into what that was about – there was a reason for it, and I worked on getting over it). I went into a diner one afternoon and saw several men there, but no women. I did feel fear, but instead of expecting the men to be asked to leave, I left qietly without comment or making a scene.

    I wonder why the uncomfortable customer didn’t leave or move over to another part of the restaurant.

    The men I was afraid of weren’t doing anything wrong or threatening. I didn’t see in the article that the cops were doing anything threatening, either. They were just getting coffee, as were the men in the diner.

    I don’t want to invalidate the fear on the part of the customer. I know that fear, it’s real. Been there, done that.

    But it’s *my* problem. I don’t expect my environment to accommodate me and make everything nice for me.

  22. Mark Perew
    Posted July 7, 2019 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    There are too many bad cops out there in the world. One never knows if the cop nearby is a good cop or a bad cop. Being uncomfortable in the presence of someone who is empowered to use force, up to and including lethal force, is a legitimate reaction.

    My own brother was one of those bad cops. To this day he still defends actions of discrimination and brutality to which he was a party. I’ve met too many of his cronies who are of like mind. It will be impossible for me to ever trust a cop.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted July 7, 2019 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      You know, all of that is your hang up and you should probably get help for it. Walking around life, afraid of the cops or teachers or the army is not a good thing. But your problem is exactly that – its personal. A business owner in their right mind is not going to ask the cops to leave because of your problem.

      • Jim Swetnam
        Posted July 7, 2019 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

        Sir, just from an historical perspective, there have been extended periods in parts of this country where some of the population has had very good reason to be afraid of the police, and it was not just a personal problem. I don’t think that this incident rises to the level of Selma, it was stupid, but I believe that is foolhardy to automatically dismiss some distrust of the police. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    • Posted July 7, 2019 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

      There are a lot of comments like yours. I have to agree, in a qualified way, having learned a bit of this myself in that it has long been different for people of color. I was working in San Diego during the Rodney King happenings, and all of the POC that I was friends with at the time ‘came out’ and described various problems they had with the police. Driving while brown, shopping while brown, etc. It left me shaken, and so I can hardly imagine what it has been like for them.
      Getting back to the posting: It is of course ridiculous that the police were asked to leave. But that unfortunate thing is a symptom of an ongoing problem.

    • Saul Sorrell-Till
      Posted July 8, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      I find it hard to quite speak to the crux of this issue, because I’m British and the cops around here are like slightly more threatening traffic wardens. The idea of some guy, or a group of guys, walking into a cafe with a large gun is difficult to fathom for me, it just doesn’t happen, so I don’t know how I’d react.

      Doesn’t give you the moral right to veto their presence in a private establishment though.

      And I’ve met some really lovely coppers, very sympathetic.

  23. dd
    Posted July 7, 2019 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    “Officials with Starbucks confirmed that Executive V.P. and President of U.S. retail, Rossann Williams, flew into Phoenix Saturday in order to meet with Tempe’s police Chief Sylvia Moir on Sunday to talk about the incident that happened last Thursday.”

    https://www.azfamily.com/news/starbucks-officials-to-meet-with-tempe-pd-chief-after-bitter/article_e560aef8-a06d-11e9-826c-47a1ad3993eb.html

  24. JB
    Posted July 7, 2019 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    I wonder how many times ICE officers are asked to leave an establishment? They are viewed as villains even more than police these days.

  25. Michael
    Posted July 8, 2019 at 4:48 am | Permalink

    Why did the stick-wielders attack you? What happened afterwards?

    • Posted July 8, 2019 at 5:33 am | Permalink

      It was a car full of kids who were just out to have a good time by hurting someone. They came up to me while I was roller-blading along the road and whacked my back so hard that I became unconscious and fell onto the grass by the road. When I came to, they were about a block ahead, stopped and looking back to see if they had killed me. When I recovered I walked home, got into bed, and called the cops. The University police came, but of course there wasn’t much to be done as I didn’t get a license number. I had a huge bruise covering my back for about a week.

      • rickflick
        Posted July 8, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

        When I was visiting Chicago for the Irish Film Festival a few years ago, the organizer told us about a woman who attended the year before. She was attacked similarly and very badly injured by a gang of kids with baseball bats. She was in a coma for months. I don’t recall if she survived.

  26. Lorie pitts
    Posted July 8, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    The employee needs to be terminated. If there are no ramifications for this action it will happen again!!!!

  27. cottontail
    Posted July 8, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Tempe is in Maricopa County, which is Joe Arpaio country. Joe’s blatant abuses of police power for decades have made many residents here wary of police. Not irrational.

    I still have my anti-profiling T-shirt, “Go ahead,stop me, I look like I’m Mexican.” I have blond hair and blue eyes.

  28. Saul Sorrell-Till
    Posted July 8, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    I do think it’s pretty self-evident that there will be a higher-than-average number of people attracted to the police force because they have an authoritarian mindset and like to have power over others. It’d be interesting to see if there are studies on this.

    I can imagine the discrepancy might be greater in US police as opposed to UK police, because the former get to carry guns and were brought up on police films where Clint Eastwood would whisper rapturously about how INCREDIBLY POWERFUL his giant silver cock substitute was, and what a mess it would make of a perp’s face if he used it at close range.

    The rogue cop who plays by his own rules is ingrained in American pop-culture…in Britain that never really caught on. Alan Partridge captures some of the reasons why in this excerpt from his book*, which maps out his plans for a rogue-cop series set in Norwich, called ‘Swallow’:

    When American men think ‘police’, images of Dirty Harry, Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon and Will Smith/Martin Lawrence might spring to mind.
    For the English otoh, it’s Swallow, or Morse, or if we’re really extreme…Cracker.

    *The single funniest book ever written, incidentally.

    • Posted July 8, 2019 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      For some reason I am having trouble imagining Dirty Harry drinking coffee in a Starbucks and then meekly leaving when he is told he is making someone nervous.

  29. Posted July 8, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I wish there were more less-lethal weapons…


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