One of the men featured in the viral Starbucks video is a brother of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., and the leader of the organization has spoken out about the incident.
Grand Basileus Antonio F. Knox, Sr., released a statement regarding the incident this morning, reports TheGrio. Knox declined to release the name of the member, but he admitted one of the men is a member. Twitter detectives believe the man is Rashon Nelson of the Alpha Eta chapter.
Rashon Nelson, Brother of the Alpha Eta Chapter Of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity inc. was removed from Starbucks for no reason by police while waiting for friend. We stand with you! #BoycottStarbucks pic.twitter.com/kHcgOu8kTP— TEXAS GREEK PICNIC™ (@TXGreekPicnic) April 17, 2018
He praised the man for his behavior during the altercation. He also said the he and local chapter members “have been in touch” with the man.
“The latest incident on the news around the world touched our Omega family as one of the young [m]en arrested at the Starbucks in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is an Omega Man and remarkable example of resilient courage in the face of undeserved fire,” he wrote. “I thank God for his sense of presence and calm because the encounter with police officers could have been very different.”
Knox encouraged members to “create the positive change that we seek." He also complimented witnesses who stood up for the men during the arrest.
“When people of all diversities, ethnicities and cultures stand to speak out, the world takes notice,” he continued. “There were others in Starbucks that boldly stood up to speak against the actions taken by police and management.”
Knox applauded Starbucks’ CEO Kevin Johnson for his handling of the situation, but he had a critique for the company.
“The CEO of Starbucks has made a public apology and I applaud his sincerity but the change within his company must include the training of management and employees on the correct procedures to embrace and understand diversity and continuously act accordingly,” he said. “This will determine if Starbucks gets this right.”