UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — Dozens of protesters flooded a Philadelphia Starbucks on Monday, April 16, over the controversial arrests of two black men.
They demanded the manager be fired and chanted, “Starbucks coffee is anti-black.”
It was the community’s response to last Thursday’s arrests.
The store manager reportedly called police on two black men who witnesses say had been quietly waiting on a friend.
Police Commissioner Richard Ross said the men refused to leave and were arrested for trespassing. He stressed that his officers did nothing wrong.
The men were soon released, however, because Starbucks decided not to press charges.
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson says the basis for the call to police was wrong. “What happened and the way that incident escalated and the outcome was nothing but reprehensible,” he said. “And I’m sorry.”
Johnson was in Philadelphia on Monday and plans to meet with the men at the center of the incident.