Happy Thanksgiving, Pig: Oklahoma Police Officer’s Starbucks Cup on Thanksgiving

10

A Police officer working with the Kiefer Police Department was targeted for his profession at a local Oklahoma Starbucks location.

The Starbucks employee was accused of serving the police officer a cup with the name “pig” typed on the label.

After receiving the cup, the police chief posted an image to Facebook where it went viral. As of December 2, the image is no longer available.

The employee in question who is not named at this point has reportedly been fired from Starbucks, and hopefully marked to not hire again. Starbucks saves this specific designation to those individuals fired for particularly egregious reasons such as theft or hateful conduct.

Last week Starbucks made an announcement following the termination of the employee presumed to be responsible for the act of hate towards the police officer.

“This is absolutely unacceptable, and we are deeply sorry to the law enforcement officer who experienced this,” Starbucks wrote in a statement. “We have also apologized directly to him and connected with the Chief of the Kiefer Police Department as well to express our remorse.”

This incident only received national attention after Kiefer police chief, Johnny O’Mara made a post to Facebook that one of his officers came back to the station after having been given this cup while on shift over Thanksgiving.

In April of 2018 there was another incident of insensitivity that garnered national attention, and subsequently caused Starbucks to close all 8,000 locations for a day, and many more individual days to accommodate partners unavailable on the national day of training.

The incident in question happened in a Philadelphia Starbucks franchise location. Two young black men were sitting in the store, and had yet to buy anything. The Starbucks employees requested that the men make a purchase or leave, and at this point the men told employees they were waiting for a friend.

When the employee requested they buy something, or wait outside the two men became hostile. The police were called by another employee, and the two men were ultimately arrested.

The public reaction was harshly against the Starbucks, not necessarily the police who arrested the men. This called into question the racial bias of all Starbucks employees. This problem was represented as an anti-black agenda, and Starbucks was to be held responsible for ensuring that all of their employees participate in a day of racial-bias training.

“The company’s founding values are based on humanity and inclusion,” said executive chairman Howard Schultz, who joined Johnson and other senior Starbucks leaders in Philadelphia to meet with community leaders and Starbucks partners.

“We will learn from our mistakes and reaffirm our commitment to creating a safe and welcoming environment for every customer.”

Not only did the store go so far as to close all locations for half of a business day to provide mandatory racial-bias training, they took painstaking efforts with the assistance of nationally recognized experts to establish this curriculum for this training.

Starbucks cooperate has also made this training available for other companies to use for their training curriculum.

“I’ve spent the last few days in Philadelphia with my leadership team listening to the community, learning what we did wrong and the steps we need to take to fix it,” said Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson.

“While this is not limited to Starbucks, we’re committed to being a part of the solution. Closing our stores for racial bias training is just one step in a journey that requires dedication from every level of our company and partnerships in our local communities.”

Starbucks also had another day of training for partner sensitivity when a customer was given a cup with the name ISIS written on it, although in this case the individual in question was named Aziz.

Despite the conclusion that this was ultimately just a spelling error, which is so common among employees that name misspelling at Starbucks has become a meme. Many would say that there is no way ‘Pig’ was a typeo for any name, and more a direct hateful commentary on the occupation of the customer.

This poses the question: Will there be a refresher course for anti-police bias training?