Starbucks: Arrests of black men 'reprehensible'

Starbucks: Arrests of black men 'reprehensible'

Starbucks: Arrests of black men 'reprehensible'

The CEO of Starbucks said the two black men mistakenly arrested in a Philadelphia store will meet with him soon.

The protesters moved to the front counter shortly after 7 a.m. Monday and chanted "Starbucks coffee is anti-black" and "We are gonna shut you down".

If a company this "enlightened" can stumble as badly as this single store did when it called the police on two black men, the message is not so much that Starbucks is evil but that racism still has an unshakable and tragic hold in this country.

"Further, it seems that the men who were ultimately arrested in this incident may not have been legally justified to be in Starbucks once they refused to make a purchase and did not leave when asked by both the store management and police".

A video surfaced on Twitter Monday that was shot in January showing police in Los Angeles confronting a black man who was denied access to a Starbucks bathroom after a white man was given the code. Download The for your device.in English and other languages.

"I'm tired of the continued racial profiling against communities of color, I'm tired of the weak corporate response when these incident (s) happen, & I'm tired of leaders standing by while disparate treatment of people of color makes headlines every single week", tweeted Kevin Johnson, a candidate for Pennsylvania's 3rd District in the US House of Representatives. "I'm not sold", he said.

The store manager has since left the Starbucks employ (a "mutual" decision, according to Philly.com). The company said it hopes the meeting will occur this week while Johnson is in Philadelphia addressing the controversy over their arrests.

Philadelphia residents who typically look for their morning coffee were not able to get it Monday morning as protesters disrupted a work day at the Starbucks located at 18th and Spruce streets, where the two men were arrested on Thursday.

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Johnson also said that the company has launched an investigation into the arrest and that he would order all Starbucks store managers to undergo "unconscious bias" training.

Starbucks didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from Fortune.

Starbucks' racial problems Monday weren't confined to Philadelphia. What I do know is that did not happen in this instance.

"I'd like to have a dialogue with them so that I can ensure that we have opportunity to really understand the situation and show some compassion and empathy for the experience they went through", Johnson said in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America". "And that is what we're focused on".

Brian Yarbrough, an equity analyst with Edward Jones, said the company might feel less of an impact on sales because Johnson took direct steps to address the episode, including expressing publicly that it was committed to investigating and conducting training. "I'm looking forward to spending the next two days meeting and visiting with them personally", said Johnson in his company video statement.

"We're welcoming people to share their point of view in the store", said Riley.

The men were handcuffed and arrested, though no charges were filed against them.

May or Kenney said he had been glad that they traveled into the city to discuss everything happened and then "ended up quite contrite".

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