On Sunday, demonstrators gathered outside a Starbucks in Philadelphia to protest the store management's decision to call the police on two black men after a video of the arrest went viral, sparking a lengthy apology from the Starbucks' CEO, who offered to meet community leaders.
He said the employee who called police should have been fired.
The two men had been arrested on April 12 at the 1801 Spruce St. Starbucks after a manager asked them to leave because they had not purchased anything (the men were waiting to meet an acquaintance).
Outrage over the arrest of two black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks continued on the evening of April 16.
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson apologized after the arrests, saying Monday on Good Morning America that the Philadelphia store's guidelines outlined scenarios in which calling the police is the right move. Download The for your device.in English and other languages.
In a Facebook post, Muhammad wrote of having been booted from Starbucks during a recent visit.
"When I saw the video, it sickened me because I began to think about my son, who's 23 years old and lives in Brooklyn", said Brewer. The company said it hopes the meeting will occur this week while Johnson is in Philadelphia addressing the controversy over their arrests.
Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, said: "Black Philadelphians face daily indignities when they are simply trying to go about their business".
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Philadelphia's police commissioner defended the arresting officers.
"The circumstances surrounding the incident and the outcome in our store on Thursday were reprehensible", Johnson said.
Here was the clinching statement that elevated his leadership: "These two gentlemen did not deserve what happened, and we are accountable". And then I look at [the two men arrested] and said, 'Those are the kids who hang out at my house when my son is home.
But over the weekend and continuing on Monday, the playlist at the Starbucks in Philadelphia has been dominated by protest songs, angry chants, and bullhorn-blasted denunciations. "Finally as we're working to solve this, I'd like to invite them to join me in finding a constructive way to solve this issue". "And that is what we're focused on".
Vivek Varma, Starbucks' senior vice president for public affairs, said that Starbucks' U.S. employs nearly 45 percent diversity hires, adding: "Diversity, to me, goes to the heart of the mission of the company". At the time, online comments were so virulent that the head of Starbucks' global public relations operations temporarily suspended his Twitter account.
Brian Yarbrough, an equity analyst with Edward Jones, said the company might feel less of an impact on sales because Johnson took direct steps to address the episode, including expressing publicly that it was committed to investigating and conducting training. "Unless someone comes forward with something more than I know now, it doesn't appear that they did anything wrong at all".
In an interview, Johnson said part of the problem was a local policy that was ambiguous about when to call police. They were arrested for trespassing.
The men were handcuffed and arrested, though no charges were filed against them.