Starbucks under fire after two black men arrested while waiting for meeting

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson issued a statement saying the outcome was “reprehensible.” He also traveled to Philadelphia. (Photo courtesy of Starbucks)

Update: April 18, 2018

Starbucks plans to close all 8,000 stores on the afternoon of Tuesday, May 29 for racial-bias education “geared toward preventing discrimination.” The company said the training program will address “implicit bias, promote conscious inclusion, prevent discrimination and ensure everyone inside a Starbucks store feels safe and welcome.”

Original story published April 16, 2018:

Seattle’s most prolific coffee corporation is promising inner policy change after an incident in Philadelphia led to the arrest of two black men which spurred protests at the local cafe.

On Thursday the manager of a City Center Starbucks called the police on two black men who were waiting for an acquaintance, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. The two men — whose names were not made public but who were described by a lawyer as professionals in commercial real estate — were handcuffed and removed from the vicinity.

Their acquaintance, identified as Andrew Yaffe, is quoted to have said “what did they get called for, because there were two black guys sitting here, meeting me?”

Video recordings show the two men remained calm throughout the whole event.

As of this morning, the protests at the City Center Starbucks have continued from the weekend. An estimated 40 protesters who’ve gathered inside the business chanting; “Starbucks coffee is anti-black” and ““anti-blackness anywhere is anti-blackness everywhere,” according to The Washington Post.

Starbucks has since responded publicly through Twitter, apologizing to the men and saying that the company has work to do and that these kinds of situations shouldn’t happen.

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson also released a personal statement about the incident on the company website.

The manager who called the police has since left the company.

Appearing on Good Morning America, Johnson vowed to personally apologize to the two men and said he would order unconscious bias training through out the company.

“What happened to those two gentlemen was wrong,” Johnson said in the interview.

Starbucks CEO one-on-one with Robin

FULL INTERVIEW: "It was completely inappropriate to engage the police." Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson one-on-one with Robin in his first interview after two black men were handcuffed at a Philadelphia store.FULL STORY: abcn.ws/2HB91Lq

Posted by Good Morning America on Monday, April 16, 2018

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