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Starbucks apologizes for arrests of black men in Philadelphia store

16 April 2018

Ross, who is black, said police asked the men to leave three times but they refused.

"At about 4:40 p.m., police received a 911 call for a disturbance and trespass".

"The police were called because these men hadn't ordered anything", DePino wrote.

After two men were arrested at a downtown Philadelphia Starbucks for allegedly refusing to leave after they did not purchase anything, outrage has broken out, prompting a boycott of the coffeehouse.

Protesters gather outside a Starbucks in Philadelphia. Police were then called when they didn't buy anything but rather made a decision to sit and wait for their friend to arrive. CEO Kevin Johnson has apologised for the incident, saying the video, shot by another customer, was "very hard to watch". They were released early Friday with no charges filed.

He asked Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations to review the firm's policies and procedures, including if their employees have, or need, any type of bias training.

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"I am heartbroken to see Philadelphia in the headlines for an incident that, at least based on what we know at this point, appears to exemplify what racial discrimination looks like in 2018", said Mayor Kenny.

However the footage of the incident, which has received almost nine million views so far, sparked criticism and calls for a boycott of the Starbucks coffee store.

Ross said Saturday his officers "did absolutely nothing wrong". He said they then refused to leave.

"We want to reclaim this space because two black men were harassed and arrested here because a racist manager decided that the only way to deal with black bodies is with aggression and fear", Khalif said.

Johnson posted a lengthy statement Saturday night, calling the situation "disheartening" and that it led to a "reprehensible" outcome.

"Creating an environment that is both safe and welcoming for everyone is paramount for every store", Johnson said. However, officers told the man that because his acquaintances were not paying customers, they were trespassing.

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The Philadelphia Police Department's internal affairs unit and the Philadelphia mayor's office are conducting separate investigations into the arrests in response to the outcry over the viral video of the incident making the rounds on social media.

He said he'll be joining Philadelphia's regional Starbucks manager in the coming days.

Attorney Lauren Wimmer, who represents the two men, joined Good Day Weekend on Sunday to discuss the controversial arrest.

"Starbucks should be a place where everyone is treated the same, no matter the color of their skin", Kenney says. "We don't care", according to Ross's retelling of the police officers' account.

Mr Ross that as an African-American man he was acutely aware of implicit bias, adding: "We are committed to fair and unbiased policing and anything less than that will not be tolerated in this department". "We as minorities have been crying for help have been pushing for social justice, but it's not going to get better until we have the majority standing up for us".

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Starbucks apologizes for arrests of black men in Philadelphia store