Friday 20 April, 2018

Watch: Protesters at Starbucks chant company is 'anti-black'

Demonstrators and community activists gathered outside a Starbucks coffee shop in Philadelphia on Sunday, to protest the arrest of two men, whose arrest on Thursday went viral on social media. Video of the arrest, posted on social media, quickly prompted accusations of racism, condemnation from the mayor and an apology from the company.

Over the weekend, demonstrators called for the firing of the employee who contacted police.

Officials have said police officers were told the men had asked to use the store's restroom but were denied because they hadn't bought anything and they refused to leave.

Police haven't released the names of the men who were arrested and later released after the district attorney's office said there was lack of evidence that a crime had been committed.

The CEO of Starbucks Corp. said he wants to personally apologize to the two men who were arrested while sitting inside the chain's coffee shop at 18th and Spruce streets in Center City. On Monday's "Good Morning America," on ABC, he reiterated that the arrests were "reprehensible" and said he hoped to meet with the men to discuss "a constructive solution."

Starbucks "stands firmly against discrimination or racial profiling," Chief executive Kevin Johnson said in a statement. 

Police Commissioner Richard Ross said Starbucks employees called 911 to say the men were trespassing. He said officers were told the men had come in and asked to use the restroom but were denied because they hadn't bought anything. He said they then refused to leave.

Police haven't released the names of the men who were arrested. A spokesman for the district attorney's office said the two were released "because of lack of evidence" that a crime had been committed, but declined further comment, citing a police investigation.