The city of Philadelphiais the center of controversy after a pair of Black men were arrested at a local Starbucksthis past Thursday as they were awaiting a friend. When asked by a store manager to purchase an item or leave despite them saying they were waiting for a friend, police were called and the men were escorted out in handcuffs.
After two men were seen in social media video being handcuffed and removed by police officers from a Philadelphia Starbucks Thursday, the coffee chain issued an apology and said it is looking into the “unfortunate result.”
Authorities were called to the store in Center City when the two men allegedly remained in the Starbucks after a manager told them they had to order something, according to the witnesses inside the Starbucks at 18th and Spruce streets. About five to seven police officers arrived about 4:30 p.m. and arrested the two men.
The men, who have not been identified, were later released after Starbucks declined to press trespassing charges.
In one video of the encounter shared on social media, a white patron asks the officers what did the men do to prompt a response. When the friend the pair were waiting on come in, he too asked to which the officers responded by saying “trespassing.”
Philadelphia’s police commissioner Robert Ross defended the actions of the officers, saying that the men were not compliant. Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney also called for an investigation into the matter by the city, with Starbucks doing all the damage control it can during this sensitive racial climate.
We’ve got reactions from Twitter to the Starbucks arrest below and on the following pages.
@Starbucks The police were called because these men hadn’t ordered anything. They were waiting for a friend to show up, who did as they were taken out in handcuffs for doing nothing. All the other white ppl are wondering why it’s never happened to us when we do the same thing. pic.twitter.com/0U4Pzs55Ci
WTF? Problem, Blacks, especially Black men, are perceived as a menace. These men weren’t in a bank lobby waiting for a friend. They were in a damn Starbucks…THE “meet me” spot in America. https://t.co/ieB0L3uvhb