Outrage Flows After Cops Arrest Black Men at Starbucks

'Does anybody else think this is ridiculous?'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 14, 2018 1:20 PM CDT

(Newser) – Videos showing two black men handcuffed and removed from a Philadelphia Starbucks have drawn outrage and prompted a police investigation, the AP reports. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that one clip posted Thursday on YouTube shows police talking to the men for several minutes earlier this week before handcuffing them and escorting them out of the Center City establishment. A second shorter clip shows a white man, Alan Yaffe, who says he was meeting with the two, asking police what the men did wrong. He calls their arrest "ridiculous" and says to an officer, "I wanted to get coffee for two black guys sitting and meeting with me. Does anybody else think this is ridiculous?"

Attorney Lauren Wimmer, a friend of Yaffe's, says he "was meeting with the two gentlemen at the Starbucks to discuss business" when a Starbucks manager called 911 on the men for reasons "completely based on race." She says the two men—whom she would not identify—were arrested for "defiant tresspass," fingerprinted at a police station, and released due to lack of evidence. She's now representing them pro bono. Police say they are conducting an internal investigation and Starbucks is "reviewing the incident." Now outrage is flowing online, including this tweet from Black Lives Matter and one from Brittany Packnett, who writes, "This is tired. Racism is tired. What say you, @starbucks?!!"

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