‘Here We Are Again’: Florida Starbucks Employee Rings Police on ‘Big Black Guy’ Entering the Restroom

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A Florida man is irate following an alleged racial profiling incident when he used the restroom of a local Starbucks.

Lorne Green is a public insurance adjuster and said he entered the coffee shop on in the Tampa Bay area on April 22, where he says he typically holds business meetings and makes purchases, according to ABC Action News. Green had to use the restroom prior to making an order.

As he was walking, he claims he heard an employee remark, “the big black guy is headed for the bathroom.”

“I have never experienced anything like to this to this degree. This is extreme,” Green said at a press conference, according to the outlet.

His attorney, Jasmine Rand, who previously represented the family of Trayvon Martin, discussed the matter at the Wednesday, May 8, news conference.

“A few minutes later, this incessant knocking starts, knocking on the door, over and over again, ‘Do you need fire rescue? Do you need fire rescue?'” Rand said at the new conference, according to Fox 13.

Worried for his safety, Green called Starbucks’ corporate office from the bathroom. His lawyer played two minutes of a 22-minute call to press where Green explained what happened.

“I used the bathroom and they called the police on me. And she said I’m a black male and they called the police on me,” Green said in the call that both he and Starbucks recorded.

“It’s being humiliated and defaming me and belittling me,” Green said at the press conference. “I just feel awful and I tried to make the best out of something that was truly escalating out of control.”

He said he heard himself being referred to as the “big black guy” twice. Green said exited the restroom and told ABC Action News he was confronted by an “angry and hostile white female employee.” He accused the worker of harassing him and threatening to call the police before he eventually left the store. By then, an employee called local police who issued him a one-year trespassing citation, which states Green is “hostile.” He admitted to cursing at employees as he left the restroom.

Meanwhile, Green is looking to file a civil suit over the matter, although he is unsure of how much damages he wants to seek. What he is sure of, however, is that he wants the Starbucks worker in question fired as well as his citation dropped.

The incident with Green follows a similar one that occurred in Philadelphia in April 2018 where two Black men entered the store ahead of a business meeting. They did not make a purchase and were arrested for trespassing. Since then, the Seattle-based coffee shop has amended its policy to allow anyone — including non-paying visitors — to use their restrooms.

“Here we are again, a year later, and you failed in your promise to the public to keep them safe,” Rand said at the presser, likening it to the Philly incident.

A month after the conflict, Starbucks shuttered 8,000 stores to hold mandatory racial bias training. The arrested men, Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson, settled for an undisclosed amount and the offer of free college tuition, as well as a vow from officials to establish a $200,000 program for entrepreneurs

In response to the current racial profiling allegation, a Starbucks spokesperson told various media outlets, “We always strive to create a warm environment where everyone feels welcome. We have zero tolerance for discrimination of any kind and take this type of accusation very seriously. We are conducting an investigation to understand what happened and will take appropriate action.”

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