El Paisano

Starbucks Arrests Incite Outrage in Black Community

A cell phone video that surfaced online of two Black men being arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks last week has incited outrage in the Black community.

The video shows the two men being put in cuffs, with onlookers shouting in disbelief.

What appeared to be a White man watching the events of the arrest unfold asks police in the video “Well what did they do? Someone tell me what they did!”

Another witness heard in the video exclaims “That’s absolutely discrimination! They didn’t do anything! I saw the whole thing!”

The store manager reportedly called the police on the two men because they refused to leave after trying to use the store’s restroom without purchasing anything.

The two men stated that they were in Starbucks for a business meeting and were waiting for someone.

That someone they were waiting for arrived to the scene as the two men were being escorted out by police.

The attorney of the two Black men, Stewart Cohen, states that this was a clear and distinctive case of racial profiling.

“When I walk in and don’t order anything and I’m dressed like this, no manager is calling the police on me,” Cohen stated to correspondent for CBS News, Michelle Miller.

In the interview with Cohen, Miller also asks Cohen the million dollar question.

“If they were White, would this have happened?”

“None of the White customers were asked to leave, and they were there a lot longer than those two young men who were there for just a few minutes.” Cohen stated.

The two men were released after Starbucks decided not to press charges.

However, the whole ordeal launched protests in front of the location of the incident, and locations all around the nation.

Protesters and activists accused the Starbucks corporation and Philadelphia police of racism.

The CEO of Starbucks, Kevin Johnson, says he wants to personally apologize to the two men involved in this arrest.

Their attorney, Cohen, says the two men are willing to meet with him.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, prompted by the outrage and protests, has called on his city’s human relations commission to investigate further into the incident.

 

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About the Writer
Autumn Lewis, Reporter
         
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Starbucks Arrests Incite Outrage in Black Community