A Philadelphia Starbucks is under fire for one of their employees refusing to let a uniformed police officer use the restroom because he was not a paying customer.
Usually, exceptions are made to the restroom policy for first responders, children, seniors, pregnant and ill people.
The officer’s perturbed supervisor, Sergeant Joe Leighthardt, took to Facebook on Friday to explain what happened through the words of the affected cop after hearing about the incident from the officer involved.
The officer said the woman at the counter told him with a snarky attitude that the restroom was for customers only, and denied him the key code. He says he politely asked again, and was denied a second time.
The cop explains how he sees the incident as a reflection of the anti-police sentiment prevalent nowadays.
“This is the world cops live in anymore. It’s hip for this generation to berate and totally disrespect cops in front of the public and praise cop killers as the heroes of [their] time,” the post read in part.
That post has been shared more than 14,000 times and has been “liked” by over 4,000 Facebook users. Over 1,400 comments have come in and most are supportive of the police officer.
“Our officers are out there walking the beat,” said John McNesby Fraternal Order of Police President. “They’re out there driving a car, it’s common courtesy to let them use the restroom if needed. I mean, we’ve never heard of such a thing.”
McNesby says he is firing off a letter to Starbucks management. He wants either a change in policy, or a flat out rejection of what happened.
The corporate office for Starbucks sent a statement to Fox 29 saying:
“We want everyone who visits our stores to enjoy their visit, and we were concerned to learn about this experience. This customer’s experience is not consistent with the welcoming and friendly environment we serve to create for everyone.”
Starbucks also responded in the comment section of the Facebook post:
“Hi Joe, thank you for taking the time to voice your concerns. We are aware of this situation, and it is certainly not in line with the experience we want any of our customers to have in our stores. We are taking all necessary steps to ensure this doesn’t happen in the future. Thanks!”
The company also reportedly responded in another comment later, saying it would like contact information for the sergeant involved so it could reach out directly.
In a response tweeted from the official Starbucks Customer Service Twitter account, Starbucks said that they had personally reached out to the officer. “We have personally apologized to him and look forward to welcoming him back to our store,” the tweet stated.
Starbucks also tweeted to Unrestrained News: “We’re aware of the situation and doing everything we can to resolve the issue and ensure it won’t be repeated.”
This story has been updated to include the responses from the Starbucks Customer Service Twitter account.