We apologize to the two individuals and our customers for what took place at our Philadelphia store on Thursday. pic.twitter.com/suUsytXHks— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) April 14, 2018
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson had much stronger words in a statement he released Saturday evening.
Johnson plans to meet with regional vice president, Camille Hymes — who is on the ground in Philadelphia — to speak with partners, customers, and community leaders as well as law enforcement. There are also plans to reevaluate procedures regarding when to call the police and improve diversity training for workers.
We regret that our practices and training led to the reprehensible outcome at our Philadelphia store. We’re taking immediate action to learn from this and be better. A statement from ceo Kevin Johnson: https://t.co/kPav8bEeOX— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) April 15, 2018
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross defended the arresting officers Saturday, saying they “did absolutely nothing wrong."
The two men went into the Philadelphia Starbucks asking to use the restroom but they were refused because they didn't purchase anything per the company's policy, according to Ross. When police arrived they asked the two men to leave three times but they declined, and as a result, they were arrested, Ross said.
“As an African American male, I am very aware of implicit bias; we are committed to fair and unbiased policing,” Ross said.
“If a business calls and they say that ‘Someone is here that I no longer wish to be in my business,’" Ross said. "[Officers] now have a legal obligation to carry out their duties and they did just that.”
Although the clip was short, several things were caught on video during the arrest.
@Starbucks The police were called because these men hadn’t ordered anything. They were waiting for a friend to show up, who did as they were taken out in handcuffs for doing nothing. All the other white ppl are wondering why it’s never happened to us when we do the same thing. pic.twitter.com/0U4Pzs55Ci— Melissa DePino (@missydepino) April 12, 2018
We know what happened. It was a gross double standard rooted in racism. What we need is an apology followed by restitution. We need you to proactively make this right by the two young men you violated. https://t.co/enIbgtzGrK— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) April 14, 2018
Philadelphia Police released a statement on Twitter Friday evening saying that the incident is "under internal investigation."
I'm sorry for anyone who watches this video and it fucks with their anxiety. There's no violence or death–just yet another caught-on-tape moment of black bodies being criminalized simply for being Black and I'm getting so fucking tired of it. https://t.co/qw77GAgaaO— Elon James White (@elonjames) April 13, 2018
We are aware of an incident that occurred on 4-12-18 at the Starbucks Café at 18th and Spruce. The entire incident, including the actions of the responding officers, is under internal investigation. Once we gather all the facts, we will comment further.— Philadelphia Police (@PhillyPolice) April 14, 2018The men were eventually released as Starbucks didn't press any charges.
“I am heartbroken to see Philadelphia in the headlines for an incident that — at least based on what we know at this point," Kenney said, "appears to exemplify what racial discrimination looks like in 2018."