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After 2 Black Men Arrested at Starbucks, Manager Is Out

A rep for the company says it was a 'mutual' decision
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2018 1:05 PM CDT

(Newser) – Protesters descended on a Philadelphia Starbucks Sunday and again on Monday—the same day the company's CEO came to Philly to address the Thursday incident involving two black men. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports they were sitting at a table waiting to meet a third person and had not placed an order; they were handcuffed by police after staff accused them of trespassing. The man they had been waiting for arrived as police arrested them. In a Good Morning America interview, CEO Kevin Johnson called the "circumstances surrounding the incident and the outcome at our store ... reprehensible." He said "training around unconscious bias" would occur with store managers.

  • He also noted that guidelines vary from region to region in terms of how to react to situations that may require aid from police. "There are some scenarios where the police should be called," said Johnson. "If there's threats or disturbance, those may be appropriate times. In this case, none of that occurred. It was completely inappropriate to engage the police."
  • The Inquirer reports via a Starbucks rep the manager who called police is no longer working for the company, and that it was a "mutual" decision.

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  • Protesters were back on the scene Monday, having moved inside the store at 18th and Spruce Streets shortly before 7:30am while chanting, "A whole lot of racism, a whole lot of crap, Starbucks coffee is anti-black." The AP reports Starbucks regional VP Camille Hymes tried to speak with protesters but was shouted over. "We don't want this Starbucks to make any money today. That's our goal," says protest organizer Abdul-Aliy Muhammad.
  • As for what went down from a police perspective, Snopes picks up a statement issued via Facebook Live by Police Commissioner Richard Ross. He says the Starbucks employee who called 911 with a trespassing complaint told officers the two men asked to used the restroom; they were denied for having not ordered anything and asked to leave. They wouldn't, and Ross says officers "politely" asked the men three times to go "because they were being asked to leave by employees because they were trespassing." After the third request, officers made the arrest.
  • ABC News notes that while the men face no charges, they have retained a lawyer. The Washington Post reports they were held for 9 hours before police released them.
  • Money reports the two unnamed black men have said they will meet with Johnson as he requested. Per a Starbucks rep, the meeting has not yet been scheduled, but the company would like it to take place this week.
(Read more Starbucks stories.)

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