Starbucks CEO Apologizes to Two Black Men Arrested for ‘Trespassing’, Says Training Led to ‘Bad Outcome’

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UPDATE: Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson apologized to two Black men arrested on Thursday, April 12 at their Philadelphia location for reportedly trespassing.

The video caused a lot of backlash from customers to celebrities, many of whom have called for a boycott. In a statement released on the company’s website, Johnson admitted that the men should not have been arrested.

Read the statement in full here: “The video shot by customers is very hard to watch and the actions in it are not representative of our Starbucks Mission and Values. Creating an environment that is both safe and welcoming for everyone is paramount for every store. Regretfully, our practices and training led to a bad outcome-the basis for the call to the Philadelphia police department was wrong. Our store manager never intended for these men to be arrested and this should never have escalated as it did.

Finally, to our partners who proudly wear the green apron and to customers who come to us for a sense of community every day: You can and should expect more from us. We will learn from this and be better.”

Previously reported: Footage of two Black men being arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks has many furious with calls for a #Boycott taking root. The incident took place on Thursday, April 12 however, the footage began to go viral today.

A Twitter user, Melissa DePino shared a video of the incident stating, “@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.”

DePino continued to provide updates on the two men, explaining in another tweet that they were real estate brokers waiting for a family friend. When the friend arrived, a white male, he questioned the officers about what the men had done. A witness who reportedly saw the entire incident unfold chimed in saying, “they didn’t do anything.”

The two men were released later that evening around 2 am after prosecutors declined to arraign them, DePino tweeted.

Many expressed disbelief and anger over the arrest including celebrities like rapper T.I who tagged other celebs in his Instagram post. “Dear Starbucks. F*ck U TOO!!!! It’s UP!!”

Killer Mike took heed to T.I.‘s call for action and in a now-deleted post wrote, “This is apartheid. No other name can apply. Thank those that stood as allies and spoke on these men’s behalf. Curse a system and agents of that system that still seeks to oppress a people only 54 yrs into “Freedom.”

Hours after his initial post, T.I. urged his followers to boycott Starbucks. “I ain’t spending no more of my bread wit em… urge y’all not to either”

Starbucks released a statement on their official Twitter page apologizing for the incident. The tweet read,”We apologize to the two individuals and our customers for what took place at our Philadelphia store on Thursday.”

The CEO of Starbucks Kevin Johnson issued an official apology on the Starbucks website last night Saturday. Johnson said, “First, to once again express our deepest apologies to the two men who were arrested with a goal of doing whatever we can to make things right. Second, to let you know of our plans to investigate the pertinent facts and make any necessary changes to our practices that would help prevent such an occurrence from ever happening again. And third, to reassure you that Starbucks stands firmly against discrimination or racial profiling.”

Philadelphia’s police chief Richard Ross went live on the police department’s Facebook page, essentially absolving his men of any wrongdoing. Ross reiterated that his officers were following the request from Starbuck employees that accused the two men of trespassing. To ensure the public that there was no racist intent from his officers, Ross noted that the department undergoes implicit bias training in addition to visiting the African-American and Holocaust museums. And in case anyone thought Starbucks was singling out the two men, Ross recalled an incident from “probably a few years ago” of a sergeant visiting a Starbucks in full uniform who was also denied access to the restroom. So he concluded that Starbucks is “at least consistent with their policy.”

Commissioner Richard Ross gives a statement on the incident that occurred 4-12-18 at the Starbucks at 18th and Spruce Streets

Posted by Philadelphia Police Department on Saturday, April 14, 2018

Starbucks has been vocal in the fight for equality, however, this incident likely caused a major setback in that mission.

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