Starbucks CEO to Meet With Black Men Arrested at Philadelphia Store

April 16, 2018 Updated: April 16, 2018

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

The incident at the Philly Starbucks was recorded by local author Melissa DePino, who published the video on Twitter.

The video has been viewed nearly 10 million times.

The incident took place on April 12.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said that the men were arrested for trespassing after they refused to leave despite being “asked politely” to leave by an employee.

But Starbucks later released a statement apologizing for what happened.

“We apologize to the two individuals and our customers and are disappointed this led to an arrest,” the company said in a statement. “We take these matters seriously and clearly have more work to do when it comes to how we handle incidents in our stores.”

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson apologized on April 16, and said the two men have agreed to meet with him.

“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.” “Finally as we’re working to solve this, I’d like to invite them to join me in finding a constructive way to solve this issue.”

A Starbucks spokesperson told CNN that the meeting could take place this week while Johnson is in the area addressing the controversy over the arrests.

The location is at 18th and Spruce Streets.

Johnson said the fate of the manager who called the police has not been determined but he said all managers will receive training on “unconscious bias,” The Inquirer reported.

He also noted that some stores have guidelines for dealing with possible trouble but in this case the guidelines were ambiguous.

“That ambiguity was part of what caused the problem, the ambiguity about when and whether to call the police,” he said. “There are situations where it’s appropriate to call the police, situations where there are threats or disruptions in our store. This situation had none of that and these two gentlemen did not deserve what unfolded.”

 

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