Starbucks settles with men arrested in Philadelphia store

Rashon Nelson left and Donte Robinson both 23 pose for a portrait in Philadelphia in April. The two black men arrested for sitting at a Starbucks cafe in Philadelphia without ordering anything settled with the city of Philadelphia for a symbolic $1

Black men arrested at Starbucks settle for $200000 program

The two black men whose arrest at a Philadelphia Starbucks last month set off a wave of protests against the coffee giant for discrimination have reached a settlement with the city, the mayor's office said Wednesday.

They also came to an agreement with the city of Philadelphia, each accepting a settlement of a symbolic $1 and a vow from city officials to launch a $200,000 counseling and mentoring program for young entrepreneurs from local high schools.

Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson, both 23, said they were at the downtown Philadelphia Starbucks for a business meeting and were waiting for a potential business partner to arrive before ordering beverages at the time they were arrested on April 12.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenny said that Nelson and Robinson approached the city as partners "to make something positive come from this".

"I welcome the opportunity to begin a relationship with them to share learnings and experiences", Johnson said.

Cohen, Placitella and Roth, the Philadelphia law firm representing Nelson and Robinson, did not immediately return a request for comment.

The company did not disclose the value of the settlement but said it would give details in a joint statement.

It added that the two men had been offered the opportunity to complete their undergraduate degrees through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, a program that covers tuition for eligible employees in the United States for an online degree program offered by Arizona State University. Starbucks apologized on social media, and Kevin R. Johnson, the company's chief executive, released a statement in which he called the arrests a "reprehensible outcome".

Shortly after their arrest, Robinson told "GMA" that when the police officers first arrived at the Starbucks, he initially thought, "They can't be here for us", saying they "have meetings at Starbucks all the time". Nelson reportedly asked to use the restroom immediately upon entering the building.

"What did they get called for?" Ross had previously said the officers involved "did absolutely nothing wrong".

"I want to thank Donte and Rashon for their willingness to reconcile", Johnson said in the statement.

Starbucks shut down 8,000 locations on May 29 so employees could take part in a racial bias-awareness training after the manager of the city's well-to-do Rittenhouse Square neighborhood called police, complaining that Nelson and Robinson would not leave.

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