Starbucks apologizes for arrests of 2 black men in Philly store
16 April, 2018, 04:17 | Author: Brooke Harris
"Creating an environment that is both safe and welcoming for everyone is paramount for every store".
The coffee shop chain has since apologized, and the Philadelphia Police Department is now investigating. According to Johnson's letter, the store's manager didn't intend for the two men to be arrested or for the situation to "escalate", although as bystanders in the viral video stated, the situation didn't truly escalate, and the men were taken into custody after doing nothing.
"So they then asked these two males to leave", Ross says.
Protester Wendy Mial said she was "devastated" by the arrests and vowed never to step into another Starbucks again.
The original video that was shared on Twitter on Thursday evening has been liked almost 1 million times and has since gone viral.
He added that he has ordered the Commission on Human Relations to launch an investigation into the company's policy.
But one Twitter user edited the statement to include that the moment was "racial profiling" and "racially motivated harassment". When the friend the pair were waiting on come in, he too asked to which the officers responded by saying "trespassing".
He went on to add there would be "a thorough review" of police policies with regard to "complaints like this".
The incident prompted accusations of racism, but Ross quickly dismissed claims of wrongdoing by the officers.
I talked to a couple of Starbucks managers in the Bay Area who told me that they do, indeed, call the police when they feel any sort of disturbance or threat.
On Thursday, Philadelphia author Melissa DePino tweeted a video from the Starbucks, showing black men being cuffed by officers after an employee called police. They were arrested and released. "What did they do wrong?"
Yaffe could not immediately be reached for comment, but Wimmer told BuzzFeed News he is a friend of the two men.
In a post on Twitter earlier on Saturday, Starbucks Corp said it was sorry for what took place.
Other Starbucks customers say they didn't witness the men causing any trouble. However, when they refused to do so, they were arrested "without incident".
StarbucksCEOKevin Johnson has since offered his apologies for the company's part in the arrests, promising to investigate the circumstances and "make things right". "We will learn from this and be better", Johnson said. "Additionally, we will host a company-wide meeting next week to share our learnings, discuss some immediate next steps and underscore our long-standing commitment to treating one another with respect and dignity".
The two men were reportedly detained for some eight hours before being released without charges being filed. And in case anyone thought Starbucks was singling out the two men, Ross recalled an incident from "probably a few years ago" of a sergeant visiting a Starbucks in full uniform who was also denied access to the restroom. The employee called the police when they refused. "We're done with that", an officer replies.
Police Commissioner Richard Ross defended his officers who made the arrest, which were captured in a viral video viewed more than 4 million times.
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