Starbucks apologizes after arrests of two men

Gladys Abbott
April 16, 2018

"Three different occasions, the officers asked the males to politely leave the location because they were being asked to leave because they were trespassing", Ross said.

In a statement on Twitter, Starbucks apologized to the two men and said it was "disappointed this led to an arrest".

Video of the arrest of the men went viral over the weekend, sparking national outrage and separate investigations into the incident by the mayor's office and the Philadelphia Police Department.

The video, which has been viewed more than six million times on Twitter, shows a white man telling officers he had arrived to meet the two men and questioning why they had been arrested.

Additional details are still coming about the incident in which a Starbucks manager called law enforcement officials on two black men who had not placed an order.

First, to once again express our deepest apologies to the two men who were arrested with a goal of doing whatever we can to make things right.

In a statement, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said "the basis for the call to the Philadelphia police department was wrong", and that the store never intended for the men to be arrested. "Creating an environment that is both safe and welcoming for everyone is paramount for every store".

One witness, identified as Lauren, talked to Philadelphia's WPVI and said the Starbucks manager never asked the men to leave before calling police.

After the arrests, Starbucks decided not to press charges and the Philadelphia District Attorney also declined to pursue a case against the two men, who have since reportedly retained attorneys.

Ross said Saturday his officers "did absolutely nothing wrong".

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Starbucks' is apologizing, saying they "clearly have more work to do when it comes to how we handle incidents in our stores". "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.

Meanwhile, a protest of the store at 18th and Spruce Streets is slated for noon Sunday, and more than 100 people have already signed up to attend a "Shut Down Starbucks!" protest there on Monday morning.

After initially taking to twitter about the incident, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenny released a statement Saturday afternoon.

There will be a "company-wide meeting next week to share our learnings".

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.

Kenney said he's "heartbroken to see Philadelphia in the headlines for an incident like that", which he says "appears to exemplify what racial discrimination looks like in 2018". They were held for almost nine hours before they were released, she said, after prosecutors said they would not pursue charges. It's unclear if Ross' video speaks to the full results of that investigation. I will say that as an African American man, I am very aware of implicit bias.

"They were professional in all their dealings with these gentlemen, and instead they got the opposite back".

Ross, who is black, said he understands that racism exists.

Wimmer said the man whom the two men were there to meet, Andrew Yaffe, runs a real estate development firm and said Yaffe wanted to meet the men to discuss business investment opportunities.

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