Philadelphia Starbucks manager no longer employed at store, spokesman says

Philly for REAL Justice and Black & Brown Workers Cooperative
The Facebook event page for a protest at the Starbucks at 18th and Spruce Streets

Philly for REAL Justice and Black & Brown Workers Cooperative The Facebook event page for a protest at the Starbucks at 18th and Spruce Streets

Starbucks confirmed to CBS3 on Monday that the manager is no longer an employee at the Starbucks on 18th and Spruce Streets. The manager, under the impression they were trespassing, had the men arrested.

The news comes as the Seattle, Wash. -based firm is being criticized after two black men were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks store after asking to use the restroom without making a purchase.

"I look over at them and they are looking at the police like 'what's going on?' and the police tell them they are being asked to leave because they aren't buying anything", said Michelle Saahene, an eyewitness. A sign posted to the store's window Monday afternoon stated that the location was "temporarily closed", according to NBC Philadelphia. And finally I'd like to invite them to be part of helping me in a constructive way to ensure this never happens again.

Police haven't released the names of the men who were arrested.

"Why are they so upset with me, Weston?", Ward asks as security tries to usher him out the store. Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner also refused to prosecute after Starbucks asked to not press charges.

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The incident in Los Angeles, along with the one in Philadelphia last week, has left Starbucks struggling with accusations of racism from coast to coast. He said that the company was reviewing its guidelines, which can differ among its 28,000 stores worldwide, and that it would invest in training about unconscious bias.

Author and commentator Eric Schiffer, CEO of ReputationManagementConsultants.com, said the episode means "Starbucks' reputation faces a frightening free-fall that will be crippling for the brand amongst many within the African American community and beyond". The spokeswoman said CEO Kevin Johnson met with the two men on Monday while he was in town.

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson is in Philadelphia and has said he would like to meet with the men and city officials.

The video posted by a Starbucks client shows several uniformed police officers questioning and then handcuffing the two men, who offer no resistance. "In fact, they were really trying not to make an arrest in this case". Meanwhile, speaking exclusively to 6abc Action News, Commissioner Ross said he stands by the officers who made the arrest saying they were simply following procedure. There is no companywide policy on bathroom use at Starbucks stores, but many stores in high traffic areas require a code that is printed on receipts in order to use the bathroom. "Now, there are some scenarios where the police should be called".

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