Starbucks apologizes for arrests of black men in Philadelphia store

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In the video, which was posted to Twitter Thursday by Philadelphia resident Melissa DePino, two black men can be seen being escorted out of the coffee shop in handcuffs.

When police arrived, two Starbucks employees told them two men had asked to use the restroom but were told they couldn't because they hadn't purchased anything.

In response, the men told staff that they were waiting for a friend and refused to leave.

Ross said Saturday his officers "did absolutely nothing wrong".

Video shows several police talking quietly with two black men seated at a table.

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In a video statement streamed on Facebook Live from the Philadelphia Police Department's page, Commissioner Richard Ross confirmed that on Thursday afternoon at 4:40 p.m., Philadelphia police received a 911 call from the Starbucks at 18 and Spruce Streets alleging disturbance and trespassing. According to Lauren the men offered to call the person they were waiting on to prove that they had a legitimate reason for waiting in the restaurant. They were released early Friday with no charges filed. The pair repeatedly refused to leave when politely asked to do so by the employees and officers, he said. "We want them to know about the atrocities that were, in fact, committed by policing around the world", he says. "And they did just that". I will say that as an African American man, I am very aware of implicit bias.

The company now plans to investigate its practices in order to "prevent such an occurrence from ever happening again", Mr Johnson said. "Starbucks stands firmly against discrimination or racial profiling", he said.

"The basis for the call to the Philadelphia police department was wrong". The manager wanted police assistance to remove the two men but regretted that the incident escalated into an arrest, the official said.

Twitter users took issue with the incident, alleging racism on the part of Starbucks and urging the company to take action. Additionally, we will host a company-wide meeting next week to share our learnings, discuss some immediate next steps and underscore our long-standing commitment to treating one another with respect and dignity.

Protesters gather outside a Starbucks in Philadelphia.

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Black Lives Matter activist Asa Khalif led the demonstration where protesters chanted "Boycott Starbucks". "This country was built on the backs of black and brown people and now Starbucks is going to treat us like we're second-class".

Philadelphia-native actor and entertainer, Kevin Hart has been very vocal about his dissatisfaction in the handling of the mens' arrest.

The protest spilled into the store where Starbucks Regional Vice President Camille Hymes spoke to the crowd, addressing calls for the manager's firing.

He asked Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations to review the firm's policies and procedures, including if their employees have, or need, any type of bias training.

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

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