BROOKHAVEN, Ga. -- A screenshot of a post alleging vile, illegal treatment of white customers at a metro Atlanta Starbucks has gone viral.
In it, the poster describes six things she did to white customers in a week including putting bodily fluids in food, animal feces in a little girl's drink and overcharging people who didn't ask for a receipt.
Brookhaven Police Department is investigating and confirmed to 11Alive that the screen shot is valid. It shows that the message was posted in a private Facebook group by a woman named Shanell Rivers who allegedly works at the Starbucks at 3520 Ashford Dunwoody Rd.
The group is called "White People Vs Black People (The Original) and has more than 50,000 members.
11Alive viewers reached out and asked us to VERIFY the post and get answers from those involved.
A Starbucks representative said "This post is completely false. Starbucks does not have a partner (employee) by the name Shanell Rivers. We are working with local authorities to determine how these fake posts were created and circulated."
The representative said that location did close briefly on Sunday but is now open and operating as normal. Brookhaven Police said the location closed after receiving phone calls that made employees feel uncomfortable, enough so that the company decided to close two hours early.
Police patrols were stepped up in that area and will continue for the foreseeable future.
Brookhaven Police said while they do not know who posted the message or if those actions actually took place, "we are working to identify the true identity of the person or persons responsible for the postings so that we can better understand their motives. We are working with Starbucks Corporation and our local retail establishment in this investigation."
Investigators are considering a number of possibilities, including whether or not someone who works there posted the message under an alias or if the person is linked to Starbucks at all.
The company has been flooding with messages on social media and are responding to them calling the screen shot fake and saying police are investigating.
So, the 11Alive team can VERIFY that this post is under investigation. We cannot, however, VERIFY that the actions mentioned in it actually took place or that the poster works at Starbucks.
The damage to Starbucks could already be done. David Johnson, CEO of Strategic Vision PR said this kind of exposure could be "devastating."
"The Brookhaven Starbucks was targeted. But people in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle are seeing the post and thinking if it happened at one Starbucks, it could happen at any Starbucks,” Johnson said.
He said responding quickly is important.
"The minute something goes viral, you have to respond."
"Starbucks is one of the few companies that understands the power of social media...I think Starbucks will be fine,”Johnson said.
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