A Starbucks store in Philadelphia is facing heavy criticism after its manager called the police on two men of color. The men were arrested by police and led out of the store. Since then, it has stirred a nationwide protest against the coffee chain and further strengthened the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
Why did the manager place a call to police forces? It seems that the two men had asked to use the bathroom. However, they didn’t make a purchase, and were told that it was reserved for customers only. There is no official Starbucks’ bathroom policy, and it can change from store to store.
The men then remained in the store, telling Starbucks employees that they were waiting for someone.
What follows is that the manager called the police, who arrived and arrested the men on charges of trespassing.
Starbucks CEO, Kevin Johnson, shard with ABC News’ Good Morning America, that “I’ll say the circumstances surrounding the incident and the outcome at our store…were reprehensible. They were wrong, and for that, I personally apologize to the gentlemen that visited our store.”
Johnson plans to meet with the men to discuss what happened and to make amends.
Johnson also shared that store managers will be given further training to prevent this from happening in the future. “Clearly, there’s an opportunity for us to provide clarity and in addition to that I’d say there’s training, more training that we’re going to do with our store managers, not only around the guidelines but training around unconscious bias.”