Philadelphia police investigates arrest of 2 black men in Starbucks

Facebook video  Melissa DePino

Some chanted, "A whole lot of racism, a whole lot of crap, Starbucks coffee is anti-black".

The case of the two men received national attention after a video of their arrest posted on Twitter Thursday went viral.

According to witnesses, police were called by an employee because the men didn't order a drink and asked to use the store's bathroom.

The anger stems from an incident Thursday afternoon, where two black men quietly waiting for a third business associate at the shop were asked to leave. "It's absolute discrimination." The men were released eight hours afterward, when the district attorney found no evidence of a crime.

Some Philadelphians thought Johnson's apology was "too little, too latte", as written on one protest sign, and met outside the Starbucks where the arrests took place to protest. Police were called when the men did not leave. "Additionally", he wrote, "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. The whole thing, we just wish it didn't happen". Ross, who is black, insisted that his officers "did absolutely nothing wrong".

Protesters outside that location faced police who tried to prevent them from entering, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

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In response to the incident, Johnson said the company will further train its partners to better know when assistance from police is warranted.

Starbucks says the video is "very hard to watch", that the company "stands firmly against" racial profiling.

The two men have since been released.

A Starbucks spokeswoman says the pair have agreed to meet with Mr Johnson.

Starbucks says it will close its more than 8,000 USA stores for several hours next month to conduct racial-bias training to its almost 175,000 workers.

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson formally apologized to the men this weekend, and said that what happened to the two was "reprehensible". She gives the address of the Starbucks store, and the entire call lasts less than 30 seconds. "They followed policy, they did what they were supposed to do, they were professional in all their dealings with these gentlemen - and instead, they got the opposite back".

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