Starbucks has come under fire again, this time because a barista in one of their Philadelphia stores called the police on two black real estate brokers. Reportedly, the men did nothing wrong, they just hadn’t ordered yet because they were waiting on a friend. Outrage and cries of racism ensued after the following video went viral, showing the two men taken away by police in handcuffs.
@Starbucks The police were called because these men hadn’t ordered anything. They were waiting for a friend to show up, who did as they were taken out in handcuffs for doing nothing. All the other white ppl are wondering why it’s never happened to us when we do the same thing. pic.twitter.com/0U4Pzs55Ci
— Melissa DePino (@missydepino) April 12, 2018
According to Police Commissioner Richard Ross, who himself is African American, his officers did nothing wrong, but were responding to a 911 call made that reported a disturbance and trespassing. The officers were told the two men wanted to use the restroom, but were informed it was only for paying customers, and that they repeatedly refused to leave when asked politely by both employees, and then the officers after they arrived.
Ross pointed out that he doesn’t support Starbucks or frequent the place himself, but expressed that Starbucks at least appeared to be consistent in their policy since a couple of years ago a member of the police in full uniform had been refused the restroom as well.
Full statement from Commissioner Ross, describing the incident:
After the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks began trending on Twitter, the company responded on social media first with a brief apology, then a full statement from CEO Kevin Johnson offering “deepest apologies to the two men who were arrested with a goal of doing whatever we can to make things right.”
We regret that our practices and training led to the reprehensible outcome at our Philadelphia store. We’re taking immediate action to learn from this and be better. A statement from ceo Kevin Johnson: https://t.co/kPav8bEeOX
— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) April 15, 2018