Police

This Entitled Cop Didn't Deserve Special Treatment at Starbucks

Living in Baltimore is more dangerous than being a cop.

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Jason Keisling
Jason Keisling / Reason

In a Facebook post that went viral over the weekend, a police officer who was denied special treatment at a local Starbucks cited the mildly irksome ordeal as just one more example of rampant disrespect for cops among young people. The post has been shared more than 14,000 times, and drew a speedy response from Starbucks, which promised to "ensure this doesn't happen in the future."

"This is the world cops live in," wrote the officer. "It's hip for this generation to berate and totally disrespect cops in front of the public and praise cop killers as the heroes…"

What prompted such a declaration? According to the cop's post*, he visited a Philadelphia-area Starbucks and asked to use the bathroom, which was locked and required a key code. The barista—a "young blonde liberal," according to the cop—told him only paying customers were allowed to use the bathroom:

I then ask in a very polite manner if I could please use it. She then states in the same loud manner and a smirk "Are you a paying customer?". It was at this point that I realized what she was doing. As I walked out with my hand up and while she continued loudly to tell me about the bathroom down the street, I was even more astonished that the many customers and other employees said nothing and seemed indifferent.

… I never post things but I hope my fellow brothers and sisters in blue see this and know that we have each other…

This is the world we live in today—one in which police officers are expected to abide by the same Starbucks bathroom rules as everybody else. Outrageous!

Obviously, it's possible that this Starbucks employee was ruder than she needed to be. But I sincerely doubt she originated the paying-customers-only policy, which probably exists to satisfy the needs of people who actually have some business being in Starbucks. The barista could have gotten in trouble for relaxing the policy, even for a pushy police officer.

The officer, after all, is not arguing that the policy is wrong, but rather, that he deserves an exemption from it by virtue of being a police officer. In this manner, he is not asking for cops to be treated with the same respect that all people deserve. No, he's asserting that cops deserve blanket above-and-beyond respect, by mere virtue of their badges.

The idea that cops aren't getting the extra-respect they deserve is often presented in tandem with the notion that policework is uniquely dangerous—that there is a "war on cops." But this notion is manifestly untrue.

Daniel Bier of the Foundation for Economic Education and Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute recently crunched some data in separate blog posts. Bier provides telling examples:

In 2008, you were 12 times more likely to be killed living in New Orleans than wearing a badge. Since then, the number of police has increased, so the rate is almost certainly lower today.

The bottom line is that cops are safer than many workers, safer than residents of many cities, and indeed safer than they've been in decades.

It's safer to be a cop than it is to live in Baltimore. It's safer to be a cop than it is to be a fisher, logger, pilot, roofer, miner, trucker, or taxi driver. It's safer to be a cop today than it's been in years, decades, or even a century, by some measures.

The fact that law enforcement is a relatively safe occupation does not mean cops deserve to be spit upon in public. (No one does.) But they also don't deserve exemption from public scrutiny—and wouldn't, even if their work was dangerous—nor should they enjoy special privileges at Starbucks.

[*Updated at 4:20 p.m.] Joe Leighthardt, the individual who posted details of the incident to Starbucks' Facebook page, claims he was merely reposting someone else's story. I have removed references to Leighthardt that assumed he was the subject of the bathroom story.

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  1. lol. That was pretty good.

    1. That’s the attitude of police for you. They think they are above all the rules.

      1. None of this would have needed to happen, if Starbucks would just get off their high-horse and sell doughnuts instead of scones! Who the fuck eats scones?!

    2. You know police will be planting drugs in her car. She will probably end up in prison for 20 years on a bogus drug charge. And all for just not opening up the bathroom door fast enough for a law enforcer! Don’t fuck with pigs!

    3. Except a lot of facts are conveniently left out of this article. This location calls the cops multiple times a week for petty issues that more times then not are not even against the law, and the police still address every issue courteously, doing so because the employees choose not to.

      Staebucks themselves have said that their bathrooms at every location are open to the public and this was just one employee actively trying to embarrass the officer. This location themself are known to allow anyone off the street to use their restroom.

      He wasn’t asking for “special treatment” he asked to use the restroom, they declined while intentionally trying to embarrass him, and he left. If anyone of you were treated like this, would you just “let it be”? No person should be treated this way. So for all of you “open-minded” “peace-lovers” who are torching another human for asking to use the restroom, you may want to look at it from all sides.

      1. A lot of assertions without attribution. Some citations are needed to back them up.

      2. If anyone of you were treated like this, would you just “let it be”?

        I’m not state-sanctioned to murder people who annoy me, so, yes, I would let it be.

  2. Meanwhile they probably offer free coffee to cops.

    1. So he is a “customer”….

    2. Police get free self-service fountain drinks at the local Stop-N-Gos. But Stop-N-Go may consider it a PR and security benefit to have its stores treated as watering holes by the cops.

    3. Free coffee should come with a 1099.

  3. War on Cops!

  4. It’s ten minutes ’til DOOMSDAY in CopWorld.

    1. It’s a wonder they don’t all just quit! But, they are heroes and will endure such hardship for the greater good.

      1. That and drawing 100% disability and a full pension after 20 years.

        1. And? They get both after 20 years?

          1. Only the ones who listen to their unIon reps.

        2. And they can park on the sidewalk or in the handicap spot while on duty

          1. My handicap spot is not for able bodied police officers! Those handicap spots are there for a reason, and it is not just so a policeman does not have to walk as far! I would have let the guy use the bathroom, though. We need to be kinder to each other! But, I expect the police to be considerate, as well!

  5. Thinking about this, I’d fire her. There’s value in having a uniformed cop in the establishment, especially if there is a patrol car outside.

    The goal is to keep out the riff raff. Not the repeat customers who didn’t happen to purchase a coffee in the last 10 minutes.

    She should have asked her manager, and if she IS the manager, she should have been more mature than this.

    1. I suppose I don’t disagree but I do find it hilarious that this wuss of a cop chose to resort to facebook to whine, instead of sucking it up and finding another place to relieve himself.

      1. What a whiny little wuss. If there really was a war on cops then this guy would have surrendered a long time ago.

      2. I suppose he was terrified that if he took a piss against the wall in the alley, he might be arrested and forced to register as a sex offender. If only he had a way of knowing whether there was a cop patrolling the alley…

      3. yeah, he’s a twat, but I can’t imagine myself as his supervisor.

    2. There’s value in having a uniformed cop in the establishment, especially if there is a patrol car outside.

      The goal is to keep out the riff raff.

      Make up your mind.

    3. Enjoy your lawsuit when you fire an employee for following company policy.

    4. Respect my Authoritah!!!

    5. I wouldn’t fire her, but I’d explain that we need to get in good with the cops, and if this means the occasional bribe – oops, I mean, special favor – then so be it.

      If some robber comes by, the cops will arrive much quicker at an establishment they like than an establishment where the staff “disrespect” them.

      It’s a simple matter of good business practice.

      (The specific cop in this post is exempt from my analysis – he’s totally incorruptible and simply wanted to relive himself. It’s *other* cops I’m talking about.)

      1. If some robber comes by

        Hey, then he can come out with both guns drawn!

        1. Are Starbucks locations popular for robbery?

          1. For robbers who *really* want gourmet coffee but don’t want to pay a lot for it? Sure.

            1. That shit at Starbucks is “gourmet”? I guess it’s better than a cup of Folgers, but it still seems pretty run of the mill. Also, it always tastes burnt.

          2. Not so much anymore. They’ve really pushed to be as cashless as possible.

          3. Are Starbucks locations popular for robbery?

            1. Fuck. Trying again.

              Are Starbucks locations popular for robbery?

              They are if you’ve crossed…

              The Clintons.

              I did not doff my sunglasses because I left them in my other pants.

    6. Unless the cop is going to hang around for hours there is no value. Any thief would simply wait until he’s gone. The “riff-raff” have money just like everyone else it’s Starbucks, not the Ritz. She should not have asked the manager because the policy was clear. As for maturity, it’s the cop who’s the whining bitch. Jesus just buy a cookie you idiot.

      1. he was coming from Chipotle and brought a kindle; he was going to be a while*

        *probably

      2. Ah, but you never know when the next cop is going to show up to eat scones.

    7. There’s value in having a uniformed cop in the establishment,

      Depends on the time of day. Between 12am and 5 am, maybe there’s positive value, otherwise cops are negative value.

    8. I don’t know that I’d fire her, but she would get a reeducation in how to curb that rudeness with customers she personally didn’t like. I have been in a number of Starbucks with locked, bathrooms and never been challenged with being a paying customer before being given access. It would be foolish for this to be a company policy. So while the server is practicing modern trendy rudeness, the cop is practicing that other great form of contemporary incivility, whining in public because a person was rude to you. They really both need to be sent to politeness reeducation to be taught not to generalize a group of people from their opinion of a few members and that their feelings are not all that meaningful in the real world.

      1. I don’t know that I’d fire her, but she would get a reeducation in how to curb that rudeness with customers she personally didn’t like.

        What rudeness? She told him company policy, and directed him to the nearest public bathroom.

        Its not her fault he’s an asshole who turned his back on her and held his hand up and walked away while she was talking.

    9. Thinking about this, I’d fire her.

      You’d fire her for doing exactly what you asked her to do?

      Kind of an asshole move, IMO.

  6. Good grief Starbucks Lady.
    Anybody can be an asshole. It doesn’t take any talent and it’s nothing to be proud of!

  7. “It’s hip for this generation to berate and totally disrespect cops in front of the public and praise cop killers as the heroes?

    I kind of hope the first part is true. The second part would be less good.

    Cops have been treating young people like shit for ages. I see no problem with giving them a taste of their own medicine.

  8. You’re missing the point, Robby.
    Are cops really expected to pay for coffee?

    IS THAT THE WORLD YOU WANT TO LIVE IN, YOU COPKILLER?

  9. The barista?a “young blonde liberal,” according to Leighthardt?told him only paying customers were allowed to use the bathroom:

    I can only hope this barista holds dual degrees in Modern Multi-cultural Feminism and Art History.

    An ivory tower liberal giving a cop economics lessons in the street would help to make a lot of the other shit worthwhile.

    1. How did he know she wasn’t a young blonde libertarian? They do seem to exist and occasionally intern for Reason.

      1. Is Robby moonlighting again?

  10. Why not find a firehouse? It’s city/county/whatever property, and they aren’t (normally) likely to give a cop grief for a pit stop.

    1. No donuts or in the case of Starbucks assorted other over-priced pastries?

      1. I dunno…fire guys often times have good eats. They may not share, but still…

      2. At the firehouse? I doubt that. Having to do the Chub dance from Goonies to get one from the firefighters? Probable.

        1. His name was Chunk and the dance was the Truffle Shuffle you fucking philistine.

          1. Shit. I knew it wasn’t right. I had the Chuffle Shuffle stuck in my head. I knew that was wrong. Must watch again soon.

            1. I’ll bring the bluray when I drive through Houston next week and drop it off. And we’ll go get drunk.

    2. Or pull over and take a piss in some convenient alley. After all, what are they gonna do, arrest him? Peeing behind a dumpster would be one of the least egregious things they get away with on a daily basis.

  11. He’s recyCling the coffee! Isn’t that what Starbucks wants?

    Alternate joke, if he relieved himself in the coffee urn, would any one notice?

  12. ? I never post things but I hope my fellow brothers and sisters in blue see this and know that we have each other?

    …to pee on?

  13. But they also don’t deserve exemption from public scrutiny […] nor should they enjoy special privileges at Starbucks.

    Cops have been getting both of these things forever – of course he was pissed.

  14. WAR ON LOGGERS! AND FISHERMEN!

  15. “young blonde liberal”

    This cop has such a finely tuned sense of detection that he can determine the political affiliations of random people based on a five minute conversation about a Starbucks’ bathroom policy.

    1. Probably a lesbian, too.

    2. Pro-government* and anti-piss. Yep, that’s the modern US lib, alright.

      *gimme-government, not L&O government.

    3. Thats just that old fashion cop gut feeling.

    4. As someone with expertise in conversation analysis, I can detect that Joe Leighthardt is a fucking dick.

      1. [*Updated at 4:20 p.m.] Joe Leighthardt, the individual who posted details of the incident to Starbucks’ Facebook page, claims he was merely reposting someone else’s story. I have removed references to Leighthardt that assumed he was the subject of the bathroom story.

        I shall amend my thesis to state that the police officer depicted in Leighthardt’s completely true narrative is a fucking dick.

        1. I guess he’s at least got the low animal cunning to see that the comments were against him.

    5. The carpet probably didn’t match the drapes either.

  16. “The fact that law enforcement is a relatively safe occupation does not mean cops deserve to be spit upon in public. (No one does.)”

    Liars deserve it and as far as I can tell modern police officers are disproportionately likely to be entitled liars who make shit up in order to pretend they’re more valuable than they are.

    1. Which wouldn’t be a problem if there wasn’t a large segment of the population supporting the cops in their delusions.

  17. The things people get outraged about….

  18. The other day I had an hour to kill so I sat in a McDonalds and started reading a book. The McDonalds wasn’t crowded but one of the employees came up to me and said I couldn’t read there unless I was going to buy something.

    I said “okay, I understand” and found a park a block or two away where I could read on a bench.

    And nothing else happened because I’m not a whiny cop.

    1. one of the employees came up to me and said I couldn’t read there unless I was going to buy something. I said “okay, I understand” and

      spent the next three hours locked in the men’s room toilet stall, reading.

      1. Spending that long in a typical McD’s bathroom stall sounds like a neat way to discover new forms of hepatitis.

        1. What?! Don’t they have a chart on the door proving they’re sanitized on the quarter-hour?!

    2. Well, in their defense, you were sitting in the playland reading the NAMBLA Quarterly Review.

      1. He wasn’t reading, he was just looking at the pictures…

    3. All fountain drinks are a dollar.

  19. He’s merely proving her point by publicizing the incident.

  20. The young blonde liberal probably was smiling as she asked, because she knew that you were trying to get special treatment for being a Boy in Blue. I’d have the same smug smirk if a cop tried that, or if it was a politician or celebrity.

    Good for you, young blonde liberal!

  21. Even though police departments nationally praise their killers as heroes, even when everyone (including the cops doing the shooting) readily agree that the victim was unarmed?

  22. This Entitled Cop Didn’t Deserve Special Treatment at Starbucks

    … But you repeat yourself here.

  23. But only cops reserve for themselves the right to murder your dog for the sheer hell of it.

    1. Bullshit!
      -PETA

  24. …claims he was merely reposting someone else’s story.

    DID YOU DO ANY RESEARCH RICO WHY DON’T YOU GO WORK FOR THE ROLLING STONES MAGAZINE

    And that’s how you troll.

  25. If the cop is actually out walking a beat, he’d know the businesses that like him around and the ones that don’t…because he’d make s Re to get to know those shopkeepers on his beat.

    If he only gets out of his car to write a ticket or break balls, nobody around knows him and they’ll treat him as they would almost any other stranger that walked in and asked them to violate a policy designed to limit loitering.

    Pretty simple. And the solution is for cops to walk beats and get to know people so those people will treat them with respect and appreciation for doing more than being a cash register for the city.

    1. But that would require some actual work, and I’m sure that violates their union policy.

    2. If the cop is actually out walking a beat, he’d know the businesses that like him around and the ones that don’t…because he’d make s Re to get to know those shopkeepers on his beat.

      This occurred to me as well. An investigative fail on a lot of levels. Less than a year in the respective towns and villages I’ve lived in and I’ve got every business with a *publicly accessible* bathroom pegged.

      Any box store, grocery store of virtually any size, large name hotel, etc., etc. is too big to know or care who uses their bathroom. The fact that he walked into a closet that happens to serve coffee and asked to take a piss is his fault. Hopefully it prevents him from ever rising to the level of detective.

      1. Less than a year in the respective towns and villages I’ve lived in and I’ve got every business with a *publicly accessible* bathroom pegged.

        Are you George Costanza?

      2. He was probably hoping to have his “free” cup of coffee waiting for him by the time he finished pissing.

    3. The last thing we need is for these busybody report-takers to start wandering around getting into everybody’s business.

  26. Look, anyone who won’t let a cop relieve himself obviously wants cops to die!

    Remember Tycho Brahe?

    http://www.livescience.com/248…..death.html

    1. Brahe’s famously “silver” prosthetic nose was actually made out of brass.

      NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

      1. Brass nose, that funky nose. That funky nose. Brass nose junkie. That funky nose.

          1. So what’cha, what’cha, what’cha want?

  27. You got to git yore mind right, little lady.

    1. I’d like to spend a night in the box.

  28. Semi OT:

    I America, cops call this Wednesday.

    CAIRO (AP) ? Egyptian forces hunting militants in the country’s western desert mistakenly opened fire on Mexican tourists on safari, killing 12 people and dealing a further blow to the government’s efforts to project an image of stability as it fights an increasingly powerful insurgency, officials said Monday.

    http://www.seattletimes.com/na…..ican-tour/

  29. This cop has it rough. That part of Philly (1301 Cestnut St) is known for the ruffians that shop at Macy’s and sat a half black away at Fogo de Ch?o.

    I’d be willing to bet the policy is to keep the homeless from sleeping in there or taking baths in the sink. It is downtown, after all. And it’s a sane policy that has to be enforced consistently unless they want to face a lawsuit by some shithead that thinks a bathroom is a standalone public accommodation.

    But as I said above, if the cop walked a beat he’d know where to use the can…like at the Macy’s, whose door is literally 20 feet from Starbucks.

    1. What you said.

    2. You can’t get a double chai tea with room at Macy’s. What kind of animal are you?

    3. And City Hall is around the corner. Surely a cop can drop a deuce in a City Hall bathroom.

  30. Why didn’t he just buy a fucking coffee? Cheap bastard.

    1. But then he’d have to pee again real soon!

  31. So cops are accustomed to being treated like heroes, given special perks in society thanks to their great service. But that attitude is shifting somewhat. If it goes too far there could be a backlash. Think about Vietnam. Everyone is ashamed at how soldiers were treated by anti-war protestors, and now it is taboo to criticize soldiers for anything. Initially we had the blind patriotism of the 80s and 90s that culminated in and allowed for the Iraq disaster. After that, we maintained the taboo against criticizing soldiers, but are OK with criticizing the politicians who send them to fight.

    Cops are obviously less humble and more entitled than soldiers, but I think the point is that focusing on the cop level of things is a tall order. We need politics to be such that their chiefs and mayors require a different attitude and approach on the part of cops, preferably at the hiring stage. Not checking psych evals for maximum assholery and psychopathy could be a great start.

    1. I wonder what life was like in the parallel universe Tony lived in during the 80s and 90s.

    2. Actually based on what they’re paid here in CA and their claims of being such superior beings, how about we require a four year college degree to get on the force?

      That would eliminate a bunch of them.

  32. You know, we should be careful. The progressive state needs those cops… the progressive state has a lot of violence to outsource, and those egalitarian doors don’t kick themselves in.

    I mean, think of it, without cops, who would arrest the Kim Davis’s?

    Let’s not be too critical of the cops.

  33. I think that this article shows how Reason is going a bit overboard when it comes to police behavior. Police officers are on patrol all day for their job. It is common sense courtesy to cut them a break and let them take a leak when they have to go. It may be cool to bash on cops currently (and there are plenty of reasons to advocate for reform), but they are on the street for our protection. As a law abiding citizen, I would rather businesses I frequent encourage police to stop by.

    1. As a law abiding citizen, I would rather businesses I frequent encourage police to stop by.

      By “stop by” you mustn’t mean “kick in your doors, smash all the security cameras and proceed to eat the marijuana edibles?”

    2. I’d rather unkempt boozy panhandlers frequent my business than cops, personally.

    3. Lots of people work for a living. I know guys in brown uniforms who drive around all day making deliveries, and they don’t generally whine on Facebook when some receptionist doesn’t let them use the executive washroom.

      Brownshorts unite!

    4. Really, I’m just more amused that the cop is being such a whiny, entitled diva about it.

    5. Why is a cop’s need greater than, say, a homeless guy’s need? The cop at least can easily drive someplace that has a public restroom.

    6. They do it for bus drivers. Ask me how I know.

  34. Reason’s continued preaching to the anarchists while actual thinking libertarians have to combat these stupid ass articles. Fuck you Reason, seriously fuck you.

    1. Fuck you, pig.

    2. That’s right, folks. Out-of-control cops and the unions and politicians and policies that enable them aren’t the problem; the problem is these pinko Reason editors who refuse to show proper respect.

    3. Totally agree. I try hard to respect Reason for what it had been, but these fucking “cops are bad/entitled/etc” articles are beyond ridiculous. Grow up people.

      1. Don’t forget sensitive and whiny.

    4. There was not any bit of thinking in your post, so no, Fuck You.

    5. Do you seriously believe gutter language is the resolution for the attitude of the article?

      I do not find the attitude of the article acceptable; nor do I find your language appropriate in discussion.

      Be safe.

      1. No, fuck you! You be fucking safe!

        Did I do that right?

        1. oooh! oooh! Stop it this instant Heresiarch. I do not find you language Aprooopriate.
          Coming from certain people, that word is like fingernails on a chalkboard.

    6. I don’t disagree. Have many friends that are cops. Mostly retired now.

      Sadly, they got to retire at fifty or, at least less than 60. But they don’t feel entitled at all.

      It’s the one issue we can’t discuss.

      And, I live in Vallejo CA where, it is predicted by Moody’s no less that, unless they get a handle on the police and fire pensions that they didn’t set aside in the first bankruptcy due to the powerful PERS lawyers, they are likely to end up bankrupt again and soon. Enough to downgrade their credit rating.

      And, if you go to Vallejo’s website and read the City Manger’s comments in their annual budget, although he claims to disagree with the Moody’s assessment, he isn’t shy about pointing out how the growth in pension funding costs is going to eat the City’s lunch again. Only he blames PERS for demanding larger payments and not the ridiculous pensions that safety personnel get.

      Item #4 on the City Manager’s list of actions to increase City revenues, is to increase parking and traffic tickets.

      Yep. Stick it to the public via the police to fund the police retirements.

      I work in government. But, I haven’t always. Government always believes the answer is more money. We never speak of controlling costs. We act as though costs are some sort of out of our control force that can only be dealt with by finding more “revenues”.

      In private industry, controlling costs was the only way to survive. But don’t tell government that.

  35. His dog alerted that she was a liberal.

  36. I’m surprised he didn’t reach over the counter, grab her by the neck, and slam her face into the glass for failure to obey. It’s not like anything else would have happened.

    1. You forgot “disable the security camera, then?”

  37. It’s pretty weird for a retail establishment NOT to give police special treatment. Retail stores that aren’t in the process of being robbed by a cop at that very moment usually love cops and would like to encourage them to stop by as often as possible, in hopes of discouraging robbery. Big chains like 7-11 have official freebie policies for police officers– and keep track of the freebies they give out, so presumably are able to make informed decisions about whether it’s worth it to them.

    But he was absolutely asking for special treatment. I think the cop and the barista both come out looking wrong here.

    1. No, only the barista come out looking wrong.

      Unlike whatever the cause is for the policy of not allowing non-customers to use the bathroom, the cop is clearly not stealing bandwidth, loitering, etc. Morever, the presence of an officer is a *good thing*. The barista was being an ass.

      1. It’s company policy for everyone. Why should cops and only cops get an exemption?

        1. Because they protect us as they respond to crimes after they have been committed and then wait by the phone waiting for someone to give them a clue.

        2. Is it, though? Like, if they hire a guy to come out for a day to fix their wiring or pipes or something, are they really going to say “sorry, pal, if you want to pee you still have to buy something”? He’s not some random off the street.

          Maybe the cop thought he should receive the treatment accorded a service provider, since he’s providing protection. If you know what I mean.

          Honestly, it’s the keycoded bathroom that is the weird part of this story. I get it for gas stations, but I’ve never been in a nice establishment where the bathroom wasn’t freely accessible. Maybe it’s a local custom.

          1. Like, if they hire a guy to come out for a day to fix their wiring or pipes or something, are they really going to say “sorry, pal, if you want to pee you still have to buy something”? He’s not some random off the street.

            The repairman isn’t. He was invited in to do a job.

            The cop is, actually, a random guy off the street. He didn’t come in to buy anything, fix anything, or do anything other than piss in their bathroom. How is he different from some homeless guy, exactly, in the circumstances at play here?

          2. Maybe the cop thought he should receive the treatment accorded a service provider, since he’s providing protection.

            Armed guards provide protection. Police show up *after* you’ve been victimized by criminals. “Protect and serve” is just PR.

      2. No, only the barista come out looking wrong.

        She offended an entitled government employee into posting a whiny social media rant. That makes her a personal hero of mine.

      3. Splatter, you got a little bit of, um, cop jizz, up splattered on your face.

        1. You know why you allow a cop to use a bathroom even when it’s corporate policy* to not allow a non-paying customer to use the bathroom? Because it’s common decency and, presumably, the barista is not a drone. Simple.

          * From Starbucks in response to the cops 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!”

          Link to FB post with Starbucks apology: http://on.fb.me/1FaOwl4

          P.S. Damn you Reason.com — a link isn’t a word and shouldn’t be limited to your 50-character word limit.

          1. it is certainly not in line with the experience we want any of our customers to have in our stores.

            Of course, the cop wasn’t a customer. That’s the whole problem.

            Because it’s common decency and, presumably, the barista is not a drone.

            Any other rules you want the barista to put her job on the line for, to give cops special treatment? Maybe the one about paying for what you take? Or the one about not sacking out in their comfy chairs unless you are a, wait for it, paying customer?

          2. Notice what Starbucks didn’t say in the “apology”? That the employee was in the wrong.

            Why is it “common decency” to give special treatment to government officials? It might be “enlightened self-interest”, but there’s nothing particularly decent about it.

      4. In my experience the presence of an officer is bad for business. I’ve watched potential customers approach normally, see the cop, then abruptly walk in another direction. The presence of several cops is really bad for business because they tend to become loud and obnoxious as they steal stuff and threaten customers who look at them wrong. I’ve watched a gaggle of cops clear out a dining room more than once. And it’s not like the restaurant can call the cops like they normally would over a gang of disruptive assholes driving out paying customers.

        1. Perhaps you should attempt shopping in my closest 7-11 or McDonalds after high school ends for the day. If there were not LEOs present, the mayhem would be beyond understanding. Talk about “disruptive”! These students could give lessons on HOW NOT TO BEHAVE. Their language falls below garbage to sewer and belief they are beyond the requirement for civil behavior is incomprehensible.

          1. I guess I’m lucky to live somewhere where people are civilized.

            1. AuntiE may be a whiny prude, but I wouldn’t say that she’s uncivilized.

    2. Maybe she didn’t realize he was a cop? Maybe she thought he was a security guard or something. I’ve seen some police uniforms in other states that look nothing like what I’m used to and awfully similar to private security.

    3. 7-11s are frequently open 24hours. I don’t go to starbucks, but do they have a sign by the door indicating that their safe is not accessible because of time locks or whatever? Does starbucks typically have the height-marker tape on the door frame.

      7-11s might have more motivation to favor police presence in their establishments because of their different retail circumstances.

      And company policy aside, here’s how freebies work: you act like a normal paying customer until the cashier says it’s on the house.

  38. I’m surprised he didn’t reach over the counter, grab her by the neck, and slam her face into the glass for failure to obey.

    Give him some credit. It’s not like he’s a Chicago cop.

    1. And it’s not like she’s a formerly ranked tennis player.

  39. I don’t disagree with the general thrust of the argument but I hate it when statistics are used misleadingly. You can’t compare apples and oranges. “Living in a city” vs a profession doesn’t work. What’s the rate for New Orleans or Baltimore cops vs other cops? Probably higher at the same rate as the general populations are of those cities. Let’s leave lies, damned lies and statistics to the progs and just say the cop in the story was a whiny baby.

    1. Why doesn’t “living in a city” vs. profession work? We’re looking at mortality rates for two populations. Pointing out that police are much less likely to die than members of the general population is a valid comparison. It shows that police work is just not that dangerous compared to non-police existence.

  40. a “young blonde liberal,” according to the cop

    So, a fellow, union-supporting Democrat.

    1. Young and blonde, I get.

      How could he tell her politics from that short conversation? Notice how she tries to tell him where the nearest public bathroom is, and this rude fucker just walks away all “talk to the hand”?

      Right now, I’m betting this never happened. Read that account again; there’s a lot of spurious detail in it.

  41. At two of the restaurants I used to work at, uniformed police officers would regularly saunter in through the back door into the kitchen and help themselves to whatever they wanted. What can the owner do? Call the cops?

    1. No, have some strong, steroidal scullions ready to pounce on the porkies and beat them to within an inch of their life for breaking and entering with a felonious intent.

      1. The cops have got more friends than you.

    2. Just give them a monthly bribe in lieu of letting them raid the kitchen. They can buy their own food.

      Sometimes you just have to put your foot down.

    3. What can the owner do?

      Lock the fucking back door?

  42. Anybody else see the comments on Facebook? They do not disappoint… or maybe they do.

  43. I, humbly, have to find disagreement with the tone of this article.

    LEO’s do not have ready access to bathroom facilities. It is very little to ask that they be allowed usage of the nearest facility.

    As to the attitude their job is not dangerous, I can only smirk. Every single call for police has the potential of harm to a LEO. It goes without saying there are LEOs who should not be in the job, just as there are baristas who should not be in their job.

    1. Every time I drive to work, there’s a chance I could be in a fatal car wreck. Cry me a fucking river.

    2. They absolutely do have ready access to bathroom facilities.

      Or is it your opinion they can’t be bothered to buy a fucking bottle of water or a cookie? (Never mind that most businesses don’t exist in a desert with no other businesses around.)

    3. Every single call for police has the potential of harm to a LEO.

      Every single interaction with another human being has potential for harm, regardless of the costume that you are wearing.

      It goes without saying there are LEOs who should not be in the job

      Oh, I agree 100%. Any cop who feels that he/she should get special treatment simply because of the costume that he/she is wearing should not be in the job.

      just as there are baristas who should not be in their job.

      I assume you mean baristas who enforce their employer’s policies, regardless of the costume worn by the person who asked them to disregard their employer’s policy. I, on the other hand, believe that that barista deserves a raise.

    4. LEO’s do not have ready access to bathroom facilities.

      Neither do literally millions of other people every day. In fact, the enormous demand for public restrooms is exactly why places like Starbucks have “customer-only” rules.

      Once again, cops ain’t that special. Sorry.

    5. You know who else has limited access to restrooms? The homeless.

    6. My father was a fisherman. He used to regale me with stories of people dying in rather horrific ways.

      The instrumentality of death is irrelevant. Death is death. I’d much rather have a 1 in 10,000 chance of being shot than a 100 in 10,000 chance of drowning in nets/getting ground to death in machinery/falling to my death.

    7. Let’s pretend that being a LEO is actually dangerous and that finding a bathroom really is difficult.

      … so?

      They’re paid voluntary employees, not conscripts. If the job isn’t worth the money, quit. We cant afford the pensions anyway.

  44. Darn it…so close to a 3rd Amendment case.

    🙂

  45. I guess if Starbucks wanted to be total assholes, they could argue that the other baristas thoroughly investigated the barista’s actions and found that they were in line with policies and procedures regarding use of doors, and justified by the totality of the circumstances.

  46. Joe Leighthardt, the individual who posted details of the incident to Starbucks’ Facebook page, claims he was merely reposting someone else’s story.

    So, its hearsay. A fable. Inadmissable. No reason to believe it actually happened until its confirmed by first-hand accounts.

  47. I hope he got uromysitisis poisoning and died.

  48. Thank you cops for your service. For that service, you get a paycheck, which the taxes I pay go toward. Since the legislature did not pass a Starbuck’s-bathroom-all-access-pass tax into your benefits, there is no argument here. All you can do is ask for special treatment for being a cop. Some of us find that concept ludicrous. Our taxes also pay for the civilized world’s most violent and unjust criminal justice system, so buy a fucking cup of coffee.

  49. He couldn’t just piss on an ordinary citizen like the rest of his cop buddies? Or afford a 1.99 petite scone, or the smallest coffee? Do they not get revenue from $150 speeding tickets? I’d rent a hotel room & piss there while on patrol with that kinda money.

  50. The next time you get mugged, call a barista.

    1. No need. Like the cop, I carry. It evens the odds.

      You do know that handguns are called “equalizers” for a reason. Right?

      When seconds count, the police are just minutes away.

    2. Someone tried to break into my house through a window, once, while I was home. I called the cops. They showed up two hours later and said “looks like someone tried to break in through the window”.

      If I get mugged, I’m calling a barista.

    3. Calling a barista would do exactly as much good as calling a cop, or a butcher, or the local zoo. I’ve already been mugged – what action, beneficial to me, are the police going to do?

      1. The barista might show up with hot cocoa, so already ahead of the game.

  51. Simply bad manners to turn him away.

  52. Some years ago my place of employment was shot up by some stupid kid, he some of my coworkers, some customers and himself, fortunately I was on a different floor when this happened. In order to make customers feel safe we had uniformed cops in the store for roughly the next four months. There were about a dozen of them who would work there occasionally. Of this dozen there were two, one man, one woman, who were trustworthy and reasonable, there were a couple more who were generally okay and the rest ranged between unpleasant to threatening. There was the guy who dropped nearly five fucks a minute in a loud voice while talking on his cell phone to someone who was probably his bookie. There was a verbally abusive woman who threatened ten year olds with with loud fuck and shit filled tirades. There was the creepy cop who leered at the fourteen year old girls.

    1. “he killed some of my coworkers” my kingdom for an edit button.

  53. I see people who’ve had a bad day make up stuff on Facebook just to vent. How can anyone prove this accusation is even true? Someone may very well have lost their job over this. Building a report with the people who work on your beat would seem like a good idea. I’m not a cop, but I still go out of my way to ask the names of the people that serve me and I always get treated with the utmost respect. A little common decency goes a long way. Sounds like some rookie cop had a case of the Mondays.

  54. Can’t we all at least agree that this is some kind of bizarro thread. Seriously, six comments from Tony and every single one of them is on-topic, cogent, and agreeable. What goes on here? Tony, I take back 6 nasty things I’ve said about you.

  55. The clerk messed up. The sign might say the bathroom is for customers only, but it’s also for staff, tradesmen who the management sent over, …

  56. She was only following procedure…

  57. I have to think all a REASON author has to do is print “cops”, and nothing else, and the hatred of the nation’s police will come out in the comments.
    Yes, I know they are on the front line of keeping you from smoking your weed, but are you, truly so butt-hurt over them enforcing laws they have nothing to do with creating?
    In this case the counter-girl was acting like an entitled cunt, who had to know the “rule” was to keep scum-bags from trashing the bathrooms, by making them their own rest-spot, off the street that they had chosen to live on.
    It is not a company policy because none of the Starbucks, where I live, have locked bathrooms. It must have been a local “rule”, implemented so that the employees wouldn’t have to clean up after the junkies and mental cases that roam our streets.
    Was there any chance the cop would do anything destructive to the restroom?
    Would the bitch have said the same to a friend, who stopped in because they needed to relieve themselves?
    It would serve all of you haters right if you were to be mugged, and a nearby cop, just sat there and watched, but that’s not what would happen because they do care about the community in which they work and live. Can’t say the same for the likes of the cop-haters in the “libertarian” movement.

    1. That you think this is some kind of huge offense against police-kind is the entire problem. Can you spell entitlement?

  58. And when some a-hole pulls a gun on the (likely over pierced & tattooed) barista, who’s she gonna call? (Hint: Not Bill Murray, Piercing Pagoda, or the local body art emporium.) Free the pee!

    1. Who’s she gonna call? Nobody, because the gunman probably isn’t going to allow her to use the phone during the robbery.

      What do I win?

  59. There are plenty of problems with police, but this is not one of them. The request to use the bathroom sounds quite reasonable, and it was simply stupid for Starbucks to refuse it. Obnoxious to do such so obnoxiously.

    I can’t figure out why this ranks being a Reason story — let alone why the author goes out of his way feebly attempting to justify the obnoxious behavior, while simultaneously suggesting that it’s somehow outrageous for a police officer to request the use the bathroom of a business that’s presumably one of the one’s he serves along his beat.

  60. She was an asshole. He should tell her there’s a cop down the road when they call the cops for help. This anti cop stance at reason is disturbing.

  61. You know what was the worst part of Sandra Bland’s arrest, sickening as it was, by a lying cop
    ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49_wNH9OiYA )
    and her subsequent suicide? It was the initial stop.
    The cop whipped a U-ey, sped up behind her. She, of course moved to the right to let him pass thinking he was on legitimate law enforcement business; she never guessed he was mad-dogging her.
    I believe this kind of thing happens way more than it should. I am no gung ho, boys in blue fanatic. In fact, when I was a short order cook in the hippie era we’d offer stuff to cops who stopped by the cafe. Even though we’d be back to hating each other back out on the street. I was a guest of the state in 5 jurisdictions for sassing cops ‘n shit.
    That being said, this article is off base. I think even Sandra would have agreed with me when I say,” Robby Soave, this here is some straight up bullshit.” Give the cop the code.
    Sadly, you lost a lot of credibility with me today.

  62. This “lack of respect” cited by the officer reminded me of something we saw this Summer in Ireland. Historically, the clergy there had been treated as “special” in that they could routinely cut into lines (ques) etc.; however, due to the recent spate of sexual abuse incidents involving clergy, people are beginning to deny any such special treatment to them – they are now “just plain folks” like the rest of us, and they don’t like it either!

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