Protests Take Over Philly Starbucks After Two Black Customers Arrested

Cowen Downgrades Starbucks Due In Part To Poor Sales Of Gift Cards Craft Coffee

Cellphone video of the arrest showed police handcuffing and leading them out after staff called 911 to report trespassing on the males, who they said were in the cafe but hadn't bought anything.

And on Monday, protesters took over the Philadelphia shop, chanting slogans such as, "A whole lot of racism, a whole lot of crap, Starbucks coffee is anti-black". The ugly confrontation at the Torrance Starbucks happened in January. Previously, Johnson appeared in a video apologizing to the two men and promising changes at the company. On their Facebook page - titled "Shut Down Starbucks!" - they alleged the Philadelphia police "have once again demonstrated their inherent white supremacy and inability to serve the black community".

Michelle Saahene, who witnessed the incident, told NBC News on Sunday that after the men were not permitted to use the bathroom because they had not purchased anything, they sat at a table silently while using their phones as they waited for a friend.

Benjamin Waxman, a spokesman for Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, said over the weekend that the office decided that there "wasn't sufficient evidence to charge [the men] with a crime". A third potential business partner arrives a few minutes later and offers to move their meeting somewhere else - but by then it was too late.

"Given the information disclosed, it seems clear that the responding officers, in this case, did not violate the current policies which guide their work and acted in accordance with the law", Hans Menos, the director of the Philadelphia Police Advisory Commission, said in a statement.

"I'll say the circumstances surrounding the incident and the outcome at our store on Thursday were reprehensible", Johnson said in an exclusive interview with ABC News' "Good Morning America" on Monday.

The demonstrators had demanded Starbucks fire the manager of the store for calling the police. That person arrived at the store as they were being arrested.




The apology speaks for itself, but the explanation of the call, er, doesn't.

"I can tell you candidly these officers did a service they were called to do", he said. "There are very few African-American men in this country who haven't had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store", he said after the 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin.

Another protest sponsored by Interfaith Clergy Leaders to occupy the Starbucks is set for 4 p.m. "There are situations where it's appropriate to call the police, situations where there are threats or disruptions in our store".

As far as cleaning up PR disasters go, Johnson is doing a pretty good job. That's the message that is sent by police officers who repeatedly stop African-Americans there without cause. "Since when are people asked to leave a Starbucks who are just sitting there?" They were arrested for trespassing. They were released about eight hours later without being criminally charged. However, they called the situation "unfortunate" and hinted that it might have gone differently had the men not have been black. "They have a legal obligation to carry out their duties". "And they did just that".

Protesters gathered today outside a Starbucks in Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Square - the same store whose manager called the police on two black men who asked to use the restroom without paying.

Johnson wants to have a face-to-face meeting with the men arrested. According to CNN, a Starbucks representative has since confirmed that the men have agreed to meet with Johnson, although the timing for when the discussion will happen has yet to be revealed. "That's our goal", Abdul-Aliy Muhammad, one of the protest's organizers and co-founder of the Black and Brown Workers Collective, reportedly said.

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