Tempe Starbucks Incident

I don’t usually investigate and write up original news stories, but every so often there are stories that are either inexplicably not being covered, or which omit clearly important details, or which are not being followed up on by the mainstream media in the manner that one would normally expect. Actually, there are a lot of these stories, but since PNS is just citizen journalism, my unpaid hobby, I barely have time to do a decent job just collecting important news stories. So it’s a rare story that is so puzzling that I take the time to try to follow up on it, usually running into a wall of silence. The incident at the Tempe Starbucks, where an employee allegedly asked a group of six police officers to move away from a customer who felt uneasy about their presence is one such story. Why is the version of events given by the police union representing Tempe police officers the only version of events being reported? No one in the local or national news media has sought out more details about what actually happened? I contacted Starbucks to see if there was more to this story:

Dear Starbucks,
So far the public has only heard the police union’s version of the incident at the Tempe Starbucks, where a barista allegedly asked six police officers to move simply because a customer complained that she didn’t feel safe. Does the employee’s version of events line up with this account? Were there any witnesses? Is there store security video?
With all due respect, the version of events being related by the Tempe police union is hard to believe. I understand all of the officers were standing when they were asked to move. Were they blocking access to the door or the counter? Were they behaving in a boisterous manner, being noisy, or making inappropriate jokes or comments? Were they taking up a lot of space? In other words, could there have been an objective reason that a customer might have felt uneasy, which was convincing enough that your employee felt there was some substance to the customer’s complaint?
I’ve been waiting for more details about this incident to come out, but they haven’t, and I find that strange. Have any news organizations asked for interviews with the store’s employees, or the customers who were present, or the customer who complained?
Edwin Stamm
Progressive News Service
I’m waiting for a response….
Tempe Starbucks Incident

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