Starbucks Arrests Incite Outrage in Black Community

Starbucks is under scrutiny after two black men were arrested in one of their stores while waiting for a friend

Videos of 2 black men arrested at Philadelphia Starbucks draw outrage livid over how a Starbucks employee called the cops on two black men for no good reason.

The store manager who initially denied the men entry to the restroom "no longer works at that store", New York Daily News reported.

The Starbucks manager has left that Philadelphia location since the Thursday went viral and prompted outrage, protests and calls to boycott Starbucks.

The two men were arrested after an employee called the police to report them for trespassing, though other customers in the shop told police they had been waiting inside the location to meet with a friend.

Video of Thursday's incident showed other patrons telling officers the pair were doing nothing wrong and appeared to have been targeted merely due to their race.

Both men were later released "because of lack of evidence" that they had committed a crime.

"Starbucks stands firmly against discrimination or racial profiling", he said.

He added that Starbucks would conduct training to prevent unconscious bias.

Abdul-Aliy Muhammad, one of the protest's organizers and co-founder of the Black and Brown Workers Collective, told The Associated Press: "We don't want this Starbucks to make any money today".

On Saturday, Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney said he was "heartbroken" over the video and says Starbucks "should be a place where everyone is treated the same, no matter the color of their skin". Employees at the Philadelphia Starbucks had guidelines outlining scenarios where calling the police would be appropriate, such as threats and disturbances in the store, Johnson said.

The problems started when the men asked for the code needed to use the bathroom and were told it was only available for paying customers. "We really appreciate the transparency in the spirit with which we are working together", said Johnson. "Our store manager never intended for these men to be arrested and this should never have escalated as it did", Johnson said. The men, who were apparently meeting an acquaintance and had yet to order, were held in custody for eight hours. He later said the department would review its policies in dealing with such a situation in the future. They were released around 2 a.m. the following morning after the district attorney rejected the charges.

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