Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Economy | By

Starbucks issues apology over arrest of two men

Starbucks issues apology over arrest of two men

Starbucks chief executive Kevin Johnson wants to meet with two African American men who were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks Thursday to "offer a face-to-face apology" for the "reprehensible outcome", he said in a statement posted online late Saturday night.

The hashtag #BoycottStarbucks was trending this weekend on Twitter and protesters gathered in front of a Philadelphia Starbucks after a video showed two black men being arrested in the coffee shop, and witnesses said the men had not done anything wrong.

Coffee chain Starbucks has apologised after two black men were arrested while waiting for a friend at one of their shops in the U.S. city of Philadelphia.

An employee accused the men of trespassing.

The company tweeted the apology on Saturday morning and confirms that they are reviewing their policy.

Ross, who said he doesn't frequent Starbucks, said "we haven't determined" if "there are things we can do better".

The men, who have not been identified, were later released after Starbucks declined to press trespassing charges.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross is standing by the officers caught on video arresting two black men inside a downtown Starbucks.

An employee said that Starbucks policy was to refuse use of the bathrooms to nonpaying members of the public and that the men were asked to leave, according to Ross. According to Wimmer, the men said they were waiting to meet someone, and the manager called the police.


Ross said he is aware of implicit bias and his force provides training, but he did not say whether he believed it applied in this case.

"So they [Starbucks] are at least consistent in their policy", he said. "And if you think about it logically, that if a business calls and they say that someone is here that I no longer wish to be in my business, (officers) now have a legal obligation to carry out their duties". "What did they get called for?" he asks.

The men were reportedly released from police custody at 1:30am the following morning (local time).

The men were accused of trespassing, but have said they were simply waiting for a friend before ordering. "Not only is this inexcusable".

At one point, one officer can be seen telling the man that police received a call from the store. And so they then asked these two males to leave.

Unless I see a black person commit a crime right before my eyes I wouldn't call the cops, because I know that a person of color doesn't have a good chance of surviving any interaction with the police. "Tell me, what did they do?" Other customers sitting in the coffee chain could also be heard shouting "they didn't do anything". Yaffe asks in the video. "In fact, in an effort to quell the situation, officers called for a supervisor, so that it would not get out of hand - something that was a good decision", Ross contends. In the video, he arrives to tell police that the two men were waiting for him.

The city's police commissioner defended the arrests, saying employees said the men wanted to use the restroom but were denied because they hadn't bought anything.

Police are conducting an internal investigation into the incident.

Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney said he was "heartbroken" about the incident which "appears to exemplify what racial discrimination looks like in 2018".

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