Baristas Gone Bad: Minnesota Starbucks Closes Drive-Through to Protest Police Presence

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Posted: Apr 29, 2021 2:05 PM
Baristas Gone Bad: Minnesota Starbucks Closes Drive-Through to Protest Police Presence

Source: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File

The employees of a Starbucks franchise just across the river from Minneapolis in St. Paul, Minnesota, have gone rogue, shuttering their shop's drive-through because of the presence of police officers needed to direct traffic.

The closure of the drive-through comes after the employees threatened they'd refuse to open at all if off-duty officers from the St. Paul Police Department were on site to 

"We basically gave an ultimatum to our district manager and our regional vice president," one of the Starbucks employees told the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, adding "after the murder of George Floyd, we decided we needed immediate divestment from the St. Paul Police Department."

Here's how the Pioneer Press covered these Starbucks social justice warriors and their problem with officers:

"The workers have identified themselves as mostly 'queer' women in their 20s, many of them women of color who began organizing among themselves last June. Among their concerns were interactions between the six or seven off-duty officers hired by Starbucks to direct traffic off Marshall avenue — all of them white males, according to workers — and the coffee shop's many Black and Somali customers."

As it turns out, having an officer on site to keep traffic moving at the busy location was a conditional requirement for Starbucks to add a drive-through because of backups that started almost as soon as the coffee shop opened years ago:

"In August 2018, the city's Planning Commission approved a site plan modification that, as a condition of maintaining a drive-through at 234 Snelling Ave. N., requires Starbucks to 'provide, at their expense, a traffic control officer to direct vehicular traffic on the site during the morning peak period."

The St. Paul Police Department confirmed to the Pioneer Press that they'd been "dis-invited," but that there's a contractual agreement providing for the off-duty officers to help keep motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists safe through August. A spokesperson for Starbucks claimed they "never indicated police were unwelcome."

According to Alpha News, "a Starbucks representative also said the company has had a 'long and healthy' relationship with the St. Paul Police Department and appreciates the work they do to keep the community safe." But of course for the 20-somethings who staff the location, facts matter little when they have a chance to telegraph just how woke they are.