Two men were arrested at a Starbuck’s in Philadelphia after they were told they could not use the bathroom because they were not paying customers. The two men whose name’s have not been released are black.
An employee told the two men they had to leave if they were not making a purchase and they could not use the restroom. The men told the employee that they were waiting for a friend. The Starbuck’s employee then called 911 and stated there were two men who were trespassing.
Police arrived and asked the men to leave three times but they refused to leave the store. It was after the third time they arrested the two men for trespassing.
The men were released about 8 hours later, they were not charged.
Starbuck’s CEO Kevin Johnson released a statement apologizing and stated the video is “hard to watch.”
Dear Starbucks Partners and Customers:
By now, you may be aware of a disheartening situation in one of our Philadelphia-area stores this past Thursday, that led to a reprehensible outcome.
I’m writing this evening to convey three things
First, to once again express our deepest apologies to the two men who were arrested with a goal of doing whatever we can to make things right. Second, to let you know of our plans to investigate the pertinent facts and make any necessary changes to our practices that would help prevent such an occurrence from ever happening again. And third, to reassure you that Starbucks stands firmly against discrimination or racial profiling.
In the coming days, I will be joining our regional vice president, Camille Hymes — who is on the ground in Philadelphia — to speak with partners, customers and community leaders as well as law enforcement. Most importantly, I hope to meet personally with the two men who were arrested to offer a face-to-face apology.
We have immediately begun a thorough investigation of our practices. In addition to our own review, we will work with outside experts and community leaders to understand and adopt best practices.
The video shot by customers is very hard to watch and the actions in it are not representative of our Starbucks Mission and Values. Creating an environment that is both safe and welcoming for everyone is paramount for every store. Regretfully, our practices and training led to a bad outcome — the basis for the call to the Philadelphia Police Department was wrong. Our store manager never intended for these men to be arrested and this should never have escalated as it did.
We also will further train our partners to better know when police assistance is warranted. 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. I know our store managers and partners work hard to exceed our customers’ expectations every day — which makes this very poor reflection on our company all the more painful.
Finally, to our partners who proudly wear the green apron and to customers who come to us for a sense of community every day: You can and should expect more from us. We will learn from this and be better.
My thought on this incident is you hold the employee that profiled the two men for whatever their reasoning was at the time. Clearly the employee that called 911 had a “stereotype” in mind thus the unnecessary call to police.
The men were clearly calm and handled the given situation extremely well. They didn’t do anything wrong as we see in the video the only thing that was wrong were the views of that employee that called 911.
#Frontliners what are your thoughts on this situation?