Economy

Starbucks CEO apologizes to men arrested while waiting at Philly Starbucks

Starbucks CEO apologizes to men arrested while waiting at Philly Starbucks

A viral video of two black men being arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks has elicited three very different responses from police, the company and community members.

He said the company meant to "investigate the pertinent facts and make any necessary changes to our practices that would help prevent such an occurrence from ever happening again". Johnson released a statement saying his company "stands firmly against discrimination or racial profiling".

"If a business calls and they say that 'Someone is here that I no longer wish to be in my business, '" Ross said. He repeatedly asked an officer "what did they do?".

Starbucks has apologised to the two men and said it was "disappointed" the incident led to an arrest.

Attorney Lauren Wimmer, who is representing the men, said, "These guys were doing what people do every single day. All the other white ppl are wondering why it's never happened to us when we do the same thing".

It's unclear what happened afterward, except that the employees reportedly contacted local authorities to complain that the two men were refusing to leave.

The two men were released later that evening around 2 am after prosecutors declined to arraign them, DePino tweeted.

In a video statement streamed on Facebook Live from the Philadelphia Police Department's page, Commissioner Richard Ross confirmed that on Thursday afternoon at 4:40 p.m., Philadelphia police received a 911 call from the Starbucks at 18 and Spruce Streets alleging disturbance and trespassing. Ross said his men had "politely" asked the two to leave before finally arresting them.

The liberal coffeehouse chain Starbucks found itself in major hot water this week after one of its stores called the cops on two men who had sought to use its restroom without making a purchase. Drummer Questlove of the group Roots tweeted a question: "Waiting in a Starbucks while black is a crime?"

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said Starbucks' apology "is not enough".

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Subsequently, the Philadelphia Police Department says an internal investigation is underway following the arrest of two people at a Starbucks this week.

In Johnson's apology, he called the situation "disheartening", and said that it "led to a reprehensible outcome".

"The video shot by customers is very hard to watch and the actions in it are not representative of our Starbucks mission and values".

"It is important for me to say that, in short: These officers did absolutely nothing wrong".

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".

Starbucks said such a review was already underway.

Kenney also said that he had asked the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations to "examine the firm's policies and procedures" and would be reaching out to Starbucks to "to begin a discussion about this". To ensure the public that there was no racist intent from his officers, Ross noted that the department undergoes implicit bias training in addition to visiting the African-American and Holocaust museums. "They followed policy, they did what they were supposed to do, they were professional in all their dealings with these gentlemen and instead they got the opposite back", he said.

Meanwhile, Johnson said he plans on traveling to Philadelphia.

Still, he said officers had acted according to protocol.