Alderman: ‘Issues For Years’ With Illegal Activity At Uptown Starbucks

CHICAGO (CBS) — A North Side alderman said he is taking “immediate action” after a drug deal led to the fatal shooting of one man, and the wounding of two people, including a 12-year-old, inside an Uptown Starbucks on Thursday night.

Drug dealing and other illegal activities are nothing new in and around the restaurant, despite past complaints and city enforcement action, according to Ald. James Cappleman.

“I am very disturbed to learn from police that drug dealing had been going on at Starbucks for more than a week,” Cappleman wrote in a Safety Update posted on his Facebook page Friday morning.

“I will not tolerate businesses that do not work with the police and my office to maintain safety. We have had issues for years with illegal activity at this business, with very little response or help from Starbucks’ management to correct the problems.”

Starbucks is cooperating with investigators and providing surveillance images, but Ald. Cappleman said he is concerned the store and other businesses in the area are not doing enough to prevent these types of tragedies.

Ald. Cappleman is pointing fingers at Starbucks and other businesses along Broadway in Uptown for ongoing issues with drug transactions.

“We have talked about drug dealing on Broadway from Wilson Avenue to Lawrence and Starbucks was at that meeting yesterday and some other businesses that are causing issues,” Ald. Cappleman said.

A meeting that took place before the shooting at Starbucks that killed one man and left two other hurt, including a 12-year-old boy. Police said the shooting was motivated by a drug deal gone wrong.

The shooting happened about 8:10 p.m. when “outside the entrance to Starbucks on the corner of Broadway and Lawrence, a drug transaction led to the shooting of three young males, including a 12-year-old boy,” Cappleman said.

RELATED: Three Shot At Uptown Starbucks: Boy, 12, Wounded, Man Dead

It started when “one of the individuals involved in the drug sale ran inside the Starbucks, followed by another person involved in the sale, who opened fired inside the Starbucks, shooting the individual he was chasing and two others,” Cappleman said.

Sauvignon Watkins, 28, of the Avalon Park neighborhood was killed, while a 12-year-old boy and a 24-year-old man were wounded, according to Chicago Police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office. The boy was in good condition at a hospital, while the man was listed in serious condition.

“I just learned today the person who was killed had been doing drug dealing out of that Starbucks for at least a week if not more,” Ald. Cappleman said. “Drug dealing going on in and out of their bathroom.”

A spokesman from Starbucks told CBS 2 they are disappointed with the Alderman’s comments. They point out the store has recently incorporated new security measures such as adding surveillance cameras and requesting a lock in the bathroom shared by other tenant.

And while the Alderman said Starbucks is now cooperating, he said more needs to be done.

Ald. Cappleman said he will be “following up with the office of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection to correct the safety issues at Starbucks for the safety of residents in the ward.”

“We will shut them down if they are not willing to address drug dealing in and around their premises,” he said.

CPD will also be asked to increase police patrols in the area.

“My office has reported this Starbucks location to BACP in the past, and the agency has conducted investigations and temporarily closed the business for previous problems,” Cappleman said.

The spokesperson for Starbucks told CBS 2 they are saddened about what happened there and are now focused on supporting customers and employees after this incident.

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