A Starbucks spokesman announced Monday that the manager of a Philadelphia Starbucks who called the cops on two Black men sitting inside the store “no longer works there.” The announcement has some folks wondering exactly what has become of the embattled coffee employee, however.
Speaking to the Daily News of Philadelphia, a company spokesman said the manager left the downtown store at 18th and Spruce Streets in what it called a “mutual” decision amid fallout over the arrests of two Black men at that location last week. Videos of the incident flooded social media, showing the men being led away in handcuffs as patrons demanded to know what they had done wrong.
The manager reportedly called 911 and accused the men of trespassing as they sat in the store without buying anything and refused to leave.
” … I will say the circumstances surrounding the incident and the outcome at our store on Thursday were reprehensible,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson told “Good Morning America” on Monday. “They were wrong, and for that, I personally apologize to the gentlemen that visited our store.”
Going forward, Johnson said he will order managers of the coffee giant’s stores to undergo training on how to spot “unconscious bias,” to better educate employees on how not to act on stereotypes and ensure something like this never happens again.
Many outraged by the incident have demanded the unnamed manager be fired, but it seems she left on her own accord. Critics suspect, however, that he/she still works for the coffee chain and has simply moved on to another location.
” ‘No longer at that store,’ which means that manager was moved to a different location much the same way the Catholic Church moved [priests] that molested children to other districts that didn’t know of them,” one Instagram user commented.
— mzlady901 (@adross808) April 17, 2018
@Starbucks Please answer this. Was the manager transferred or terminated? Many of your customers are asking and I personally need the answer from a verifiable source: You. Thank you!
— Strong Coffee (@theprissypundit) April 17, 2018
@Starbucks, was that manager actually fired or just transferred? "No longer at that store" is not clear enough for me. If the objective of these protests are the removal of the manager, don't stop until you get a clear answer. I do appreciate that apology, though.
— Brother Sharif (@EjaculatingPen) April 17, 2018
Implicit bias training for store managers is the least Starbucks could do because this is not an isolated incident. "The manager no longer works at this store" is code for we have transferred bad behavior to another location." https://t.co/6AdYBRnNnJ
— Rev. John Welch, PhD (@WelchRev) April 17, 2018
Facing backlash from the incident, Johnson said he’d also like to meet with the two men to apologize to them personally and discuss a “constructive solution.” A company spokesman confirmed to NBC News that the three met on Monday. No additional details were provided.
That hasn’t stopped the protests, however. About two-dozen demonstrators stormed the downtown Philadelphia Starbucks on Monday and held a sit-in while chanting “A whole lot of racism, a whole lot of crap, Starbucks coffee is anti-Black.”
— act.tv (@actdottv) April 16, 2018
— VIXC News (@VIXC_News) April 16, 2018
“We don’t want this Starbucks to make any money today,” Abdul-Aliy Muhammad, one of the protest’s organizers, told the Associated Press. “That’s the goal.”
It remains unclear whether the manager was actually fired on transferred to another Starbucks location. The incident is still under investigation.