Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Starbucks chief executive apologises for arrests of two black men

Starbucks chief executive apologises for arrests of two black men

Protesters were still gathered outside of the Philadelphia location on Monday.

They also shouted slogans including, "A whole lot of racism, a whole lot of crap, Starbucks coffee is anti-black".

"The video shot by customers is very hard to watch and the actions in it are not representative of our Starbucks mission and values", Johnson said in a statement.

In a viral video captured of the moment, the two men are seen being handcuffed and led out of the establishment as patrons question why the men are being arrested.

The video has been viewed almost 10 million times. The store reopened hours later.

The protest forced the store to shut down for the busy morning rush. "They weren't protesting, they weren't angry".

Members of Power, a group of interfaith clergy leaders marched in during the press conference with the NAACP, chanting, forcing city leaders to explain they are in agreement with the protesters. It has tried to stand apart from diners like Applebee's and IHOP, where other racially charged incidents have occurred recently.

"We are here to tell you that that is not acceptable and ma'am since you want to know so much, what you are going to do is change those policies, what you are going to do is stop calling the police, because we are committed to being here are much as possible", one activist said.

NBC and CNN reported that Johnson was expected to meet with the two men. "Since when are people asked to leave a Starbucks who are just sitting there?"

In an interview Monday on ABC's "Good Morning America," Johnson said he hoped to meet with the two men in person to apologize face to face.

"You have lost your opportunity to have a voice", Malachi said. He said that the company was reviewing its guidelines, which can differ among its 28,000 stores worldwide, and that it would invest in training about unconscious bias.

"The police were called because these men hadn't ordered anything", author Melissa DePino, who recorded the incident, tweeted last week. Until the coffee chain does something to end the 'disrespect, ' he thinks everyone should boycott them! "They put their bodies on the line", said Asa Khalif.

Despite the outcry, the Philadelphia Police Department commissioner and a civilian oversight board have defended the responding officers' actions, saying they "acted within the law". "This is what allies do". At a press conference Monday, Philadelphia City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson said he and other city officials had met with Kevin Johnson, but he said he was not impressed and more needs to be done to ensure that businesses can not engage in any discrimination.

He said the agency's conclusions were based on a report it received Monday from the police, as well as Police Commissioner Richard Ross' statements on Facebook on Saturday, videos of the incident posted on social media, and a phone conversation he had with Starbucks' general counsel on Sunday night. "They followed policy. They did what they were supposed to do".

"I'm not satisfied with the outcome of the situation yet", said Kenney.

Author and commentator Eric Schiffer, CEO of, said the episode means "Starbucks' reputation faces a frightening free-fall that will be crippling for the brand amongst many within the African American community and beyond".

At the time of his arrest, the man was with another volunteer canvassing for Penny Newman who is running for the Riverside County Board of Supervisors Second District seat.

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