Outrage after two black men arrested in a Starbucks - for doing nothing

Javier Stokes
April 16, 2018

He did not mention the man who said he was meeting with the other two men.

Police were then called to the scene.

The video went viral, with almost 8 million views, on Twitter over the weekend and immediately sparked national outrage.

In a video statement, Ross said store employees called 911 to report a disturbance and trespassing. The two black men who are ultimately arrested speak calmly to police.

"The police were called because these men hadn't ordered anything". Her clients, who declined to be identified, were released eight hours later because the district attorney found no evidence of a crime, she said, adding the Starbucks manager was white.

The incident is a dramatic turn for a company that has positioned itself as a progressive corporate leader and touts "diversity and inclusion" - efforts that have also drawn its share of criticism. Starbucks said that, according to their company policy, they do not allow non-paying members of... the public to come in and use the restroom.

A real estate investor is heard in the video telling officers the men were waiting to meet with him to discuss a deal.

If the trespassers were white males and they refused to leave - even after police asked them, no one would have been concerned.

"That's absolutely discrimination", Mr. Yaffe said in the video.

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. These guys never raised their voices.

"This was a highly traumatizing experience for both of them, and hopefully they'll be able to recover", she said.

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Trump also indicated that talks are progressing toward successful renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement . Taro Aso, Japan's finance minister and deputy prime minister said that "if the news is true, we would welcome it".

Among their demands are that the Starbucks employee who called police be fired, along with the officers who made the arrests.

Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney also issued a statement about the incident.

"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.

"Starbucks should be a place where everyone is treated the same, no matter the color of their skin", Kenney says.

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

Philadelphia's police commissioner is defending the arrest. Ross said officers had asked the men to leave but they refused and were subsequently detained.

Ross said the men were told they were trespassing and were "asked to leave politely", three times.

He explained that the officers "did nothing wrong" and were professional in their behavior supporting those but "acquired the opposite back". Twitter users have suggested there must be more to the story than meets the eye. "We are committed to fair and unbiased policing, and anything less than that will not be tolerated in this department".

The moment has drawn comparisons to civil disobedience protests during the civil rights movement, when black Americans' refusals to leave segregated lunch counters were met with police force.

"If a business calls and they say that someone is here that I no longer wish to be in my business, they [the officers] now have a legal obligation to carry out their duties", Mr Ross said.

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