US News Starbucks boss to apologise over black mens' arrests

18:00  15 april  2018
18:00  15 april  2018 Source:   news.sky.com

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A video of two black men being arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks has gone viral, prompting a response from the coffee giant and an internal investigation within the Philadelphia Police Department. @ Starbucks The police were called because these men hadn’t ordered anything.

Starbucks apologized on Saturday amid a wave of online backlash over a viral video that showed police arresting two black men inside a Philadelphia store while bystanders protested that the men "didn't do anything."

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Starbucks' CEO is to "offer a face-to-face apology" after two black men were arrested while waiting for a friend in one of the chain's coffee shops.

In a statement, Kevin Johnson said the company would do "whatever we can to make things right" following a "disheartening situation that led to a reprehensible outcome".

Footage showed officers in Philadelphia taking the men away in handcuffs, as onlookers insisted the pair had done nothing wrong.

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A Starbucks coffee shop is seen Warsaw, Poland on April 2, 2018. (Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images) © Getty A Starbucks coffee shop is seen Warsaw, Poland on April 2, 2018. (Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The video, which has been viewed millions of times on Twitter, shows a white man telling officers he had arrived to meet the two men and questioning why they had been arrested.

Melissa DePino, who posted the footage, said: "All the other white (people) are wondering why it's never happened to us when we do the same thing."

Mr Johnson said the company intended to "investigate the pertinent facts and make any necessary changes to our practices that would help prevent such an occurrence from ever happening again".

The company "stands firmly against discrimination or racial profiling", he added.

"Regretfully," Mr Johnson continued, "our practices and training led to a bad outcome - the basis for the call to the Philadelphia police department was wrong.

"Our store manager never intended for these men to be arrested and this should never have escalated as it did."

Starbucks © Getty Starbucks

There will be a "company-wide meeting next week to share our learnings".

Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney said he was "heartbroken" about the incident which "appears to exemplify what racial discrimination looks like in 2018".

But Police Commissioner Richard Ross insisted his officers "did absolutely nothing wrong" after employees at the store reported a disturbance and trespassing.

Starbucks apologizes after viral video shows cops in a Philadelphia store arresting 2 black men who witnesses say 'didn't do anything'

  Starbucks apologizes after viral video shows cops in a Philadelphia store arresting 2 black men who witnesses say 'didn't do anything' Twitter/@missydepino Starbucks faced intense backlash on Saturday after a viral video showed police arresting two black men in a Philadelphia store, while bystanders argued the men "didn't do anything."The video, posted by Twitter user Melissa DePino, shows several police officers handcuffing the two men and leading them out of the store, while one person who said he was meeting the two men repeatedly asks, "What did they do?"

Starbucks Coffee ✔@ Starbucks . We apologize to the two individuals and our customers for what took place at our Philadelphia store on Thursday. Black men sitting & waiting for a friend get arrested . Dog Fights Over the Mediterranean? Euro Air Traffic Control Issues Bizarre Warning.

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He said staff had told officers the two men wanted to use a bathroom in the coffee shop but were informed it was only for paying customers.

Mr Ross said that as an African-American man he was acutely aware of implicit bias, adding: "We are committed to fair and unbiased policing and anything less than that will not be tolerated in this department.

The two arrested men were released after officers learnt Starbucks was "no longer interested" in prosecuting them, Mr Ross said.

Mayor Kenney said he had asked the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations to examine Starbucks' policies and procedures, including the potential need for implicit bias training for its employees.

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