Joseph West

Real Estate Broker and Owner of Signature West LLC

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Dear Starbucks your employees lack human dignity. On April 12, 2019, at your Fort Lauderdale located at  2309 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33305, this took place:

I am not sharing this to be a victim and I am not posting the photos or the video that witnesses took. I was at your location mentioned earlier sitting outside enjoying myself. Next to me was a white middle-aged male seemed drunk so I did not want to engage.

Shortly after, it all began, he started calling me every name in the book, from go back to your country to you F Pakistanian, you koran lover and everything else in between which I refuse to share and give it energy.

Then he threatens to punch me and that’s when I grabbed my phone to call 911, he grabbed my phone and pounded it on the ground ” now my screen is broken in millions of pieces”
I began to walk toward the door of Starbucks to see if I can get some help. That’s, when the other person began to punch me twice, once in the head and once on the lips, luckily my tooth is not broken just my lip began to bleed. Then he began walking away.

I finally walked into the store to get some help to find all the employees watching the entire episode behind the glass doors and doing NOTHING except for one. There were:

  • One white female on the phone calling the police
  • When I asked her, are they coming? one African American female employee asked me to please leave. instead of offering me a glass of water or asking me if I am ok? or simply being of service to another human being which would have been more appropriate.
  • A white male employee stood there doing nothing, just watching the scene as if he was watching a movie on Netflix
  • Another white female employee stood there doing nothing, just watching the scene as if she was watching a movie on Netflix. Not a single employee asked the simplest question others asked “ ARE YOU OK?

Someone could have ended dead while most of your employees continued to watch from 10 feet away, not working but taking pleasure in watching.

That must of been some training you did during the one day you closed all stores !!

Finally, the police came because some white female witness called them while another white male took a video. There were another 2 African American witnesses.  All the 4 witnesses told the police the same story and a report was made as a misdemeanor which I will file in court case# 341904061821. The police found the person down the street drunk of course and he claimed I hit him.

The shocker of all shockers one of the witnesses which is African American and use to be a fireman told the story to the police but did not want to be listed as a witness in court. Call me crazy I would have been more than  glad to be a witness for any human being especially African American if the shoe was on the other foot

  • Not in a million years, I thought this would happen to me
  • Not in a million years. I thought this would happen to me at Starbucks while 3 employees watching behind glass doors doing NOTHING.
  • This could have been you. Welcome to the new normal.
  • To the African American employee that asked me to leave instead of asking me if I was ok?, shame on you
  • To the African American retired fireman that refused to be a witness in court, shame on you.
  • To these two African Americans, I will finish with this: remember, We are stronger together than apart.  See you all in court.


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8 Responses so far.

  1. David Rhodes says:

    The treatment of Joseph West at one of your Ft. Lauderdale locations has me deeply disturbed that staff members would stand by and allow this to happen … and then ask him to leave . I thought that’s Starbucks was to have sensitivity training. This is inexcusable on so many levels . Shame on you and your employees!!!
    I will not go to that Starbucks location ever , and will think twice about spending my money at any Starbucks store .
    This is sadly the new normal thanks to the current occupant of the White House ! What do you plan on doing about this ?
    You may respond to the email address I have provided.
    Thank you
    David Rhodes

    • joseph says:

      not to mention I could have been dead and you could have been me… while Starbucks employees watching behind glass doors

  2. Rey Aleman says:

    This is unacceptable behavior by Starbucks staff! Not only should customers feel safe in and around store premises, they should also never be turned away when such altercation occurs. As a Gold Member I shall rethink my loyalty to Starbucks due to inappropriate actions taken by such staff members. This should have never happened to Mr. West or any other customer(s). Starbucks, please make this right.

    • joseph says:

      Thank you, Ray… It’s having someone that is at the same Starbucks often and that day was drinking vodka ” everyone around can smell it” while Starbucks has no liquor license should be a fun topic in court.

  3. Paul M. Smith says:

    Based on my reading of the events that occured during your attack, if appears that the staff was not up to the task of handling such an incident. I doubt if they were trained nor even briefed on what steps to take if someone in the store becomes belligerent. For this, the Business needs to be held accountable. The female staff member needs to be fired for asking you to leave the store knowing that you had just been attacked. The others seemed reluctant to get involved. I agree that the firemen should have stepped up. I certainly would have, but you never know what previous traumatizing experience a black male has had with Law enforcement or the legal system that doesn’t always deal fairly with black males…but, I don’t think race was the issue. I see a case where you were failed by the staff and by the fireman. I hope that the trauma from this does not hinder you from moving freely here in the community. One reason I stick close to WM is to hopefully avoid these kinds of hate crimes but I know that it could happen any where, anytime. That is the climate that has been perpetrated against us. .

    • joseph says:

      Paul
      That climate that has been perpetrated against us. could have easily avoided if Starbucks didn’t allow a regular customer to drink liquor on the premises. I am more than grateful it did not end up worse than it did and I am glad it was me than someone I care about.
      Watching the silence and doing nothing by the employees and other customers is the biggest heartbreaking of all. I look forward to seeing that Starbucks in court. Cheers

    • Howard Johnson says:

      Sorry, I am not really seeing how this falls on the the shoulders of Starbucks. It is unfortunate but in no way should a low paid barista be policing customers. This is kind of odd that you are pinning it on them,=.

      • joseph says:

        Howard … any establishment without a liquor license is 1000% responsible for any customer behavior resulting from drinking on their premises. you might want to check the law . Second, I am also calling out the African american employee as I walked in the store bleeding and asking them to call 911 , she asked me to wait outside, instead of 1) are you OK ? 2) can I get you a glass of water ? thats called compassion. I am glad I was the one bleeding not you.