Starbucks supports defunding the police.
In mid-July 2020, many on social media shared the news that Starbucks supports the “defund the police” movement. In retaliation of Starbuck’s alleged support, some called for patrons of Starbucks to discontinue supporting the coffee company. Defund the police refers to a movement against the police in response to police brutality against African Americans.
Misbar has not found evidence that Starbucks pledged support to the defund the police movement. Instead, it was found that the Starbuck’s Foundation, the giving arm of the company, has financially supported law enforcement and first responders. The Starbucks Foundation has contributed $25,000 to the New York City Police Foundation to purchase supplies that NYPD officers need to keep themselves safe. Starbucks has also been involved with a program called Coffee with a Cop to help foster direct communication between Starbucks partners and police officers. According to the Starbuck’s website, “At Starbucks, we have deep appreciation for the police officers who are committed to keeping our communities safe.”
Earlier in the spring, in the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Starbucks gave out free coffees to first responders, including police officers in the U.S. and Canada. When the pandemic hit in Washington D.C., Starbucks district managers, store managers, and store partners volunteered to brew and deliver coffee to every single D.C. police station every afternoon for roll call.
Regarding diversity, Starbucks has vowed on Twitter to “stand in solidarity with our Black partners, customers, and communities.” While Starbucks does support the Black community, there is no evidence they support the defund the police movement.