'Lukewarm' Starbucks Apology Blasted by Black Activists

CEO Kevin Johnson says 'we will learn from this'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2018 1:00 PM CDT
'Lukewarm' Starbucks Apology Blasted by Black Activists
A screenshot of a video taken in the Philadelphia Starbucks where police arrested two black men for trespassing.   (YouTube)

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson expressed his "deepest apologies" to two black men arrested at a Philadelphia franchise location Thursday and says he hopes to give them a "face-to-face apology," the New York Times reports. "Regretfully, our practices and training led to a bad outcome—the basis for the call to the Philadelphia police department was wrong," Johnson says in a public statement. But he adds that "our store manager never intended for these men to be arrested." He says Starbucks will investigate how the men were identified as trespassers—when they were apparently just waiting for someone—and "make any necessary changes to our practices that would help prevent such an occurrence from ever happening again."

But not everyone is buying the apology as protesters gather outside the location Sunday, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Black Lives Matter activist Asa Khalif is calling the apology "lukewarm" and "about saving face," per a tweet, while a Facebook page organizing the rally wants the worker who called police to be fired, the officers to be fired, and a new Starbucks policy instated "that expressly disallows calling the police on citizens." Meanwhile Philadelphia police are deflecting blame, saying "officers had legal standing to make this arrest," and Mayor Jim Kenney is saying that Starbucks' apology "is not enough." Johnson may be feeling the heat: "You can and should expect more from us," he writes. "We will learn from this and be better." (More African Americans stories.)

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