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The officer notified Kiefer Police Chief Johnny O'Mara, who called the store and spoke to a manager. O’Mara says the store offered to reprint the computer-generated labels, but he took to social media and posted the photo. It has since gone viral.
"What irks me is the absolute and total disrespect for a police officer who, instead of being home with family and enjoying a meal and a football game, is patrolling his little town," O'Mara wrote. "It’s another tiny pinprick into the heart of men and women who are asking themselves more often: “Why am I doing this?”
The officer told KTUL-TV that the employee reached out to him personally and apologized, saying it was a joke.
Starbucks spokesperson Jory Mendes says the company is deeply sorry and has apologized to the officer who received the five cups.
The barista has been suspended pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
Last year, Starbucks closed stores and had employees undergo anti-bias training after the arrest of two black men in a Philadelphia location. The coffee chain’s executives met with Arizona officers earlier this year after six officers were asked to leave a store because a customer felt unsafe.