Philadelphia police commissioner says he "failed miserably" in Starbucks arrests messaging
Apr 21 2018 by Lorena Waters
A white Starbucks manager said the men were not buying anything and so she called the police last Thursday. Those protesters showed up this time outside Philadelphia's police headquarters - despite an apology from commissioner Richard Ross.
Other customers were appalled the men were forced to leave, but despite their arguments that the men had done nothing wrong, they were taken into custody and released eight hours later because no evidence of a crime was found.
As the two men sat down to wait for the third person who was coming to meet them, an employee reached out to them and asked if they wanted to order something. But Starbucks broke a more important rule: By demonizing two people based on their race, it left democracy out of the public space.
The video caused anger on social media. "This is a people thing".
Starbucks declared it's going to close stores across the country starting on May 29.
Last week, Mark Zuckerberg was called onto the congressional carpet to explain how his company compromised the privacy of millions of people and may have unwittingly distorted the last presidential election. "We've been working on this for months", Robinson said. They were also not told by the staff to leave prior.
In a 2016 Gallup poll, 52 percent of blacks and 17 percent of whites said they perceived discrimination in stores downtown or in the shopping mall.
"As soon as they approached us they just say we have to leave", Nelson said. Hylton asked if the men needed drinks, which the two refused, as they already had water. "These officers did absolutely nothing wrong".
Demonstrators occupy the Starbucks that has become the center of protests Monday, April 16, 2018, in Philadelphia.
The officers ultimately handcuffed Nelson and Robinson, and escorted them out of the Starbucks and into a squad vehicle before taking them to the police station. "We have meetings at Starbucks all the time".
Nelson said he even wondered about the possibility of not making it home alive.
"You go from being someone who's just trying to be an entrepreneur, having your own dreams and aspirations, and then this happens", noted Nelson.
The arrest sparked cries of racial discrimination after the video went viral around the world.
Ross said it was the wrong for him to have said in a Facebook Live video on Sunday that the "officers did not do anything wrong".
"I was thinking, they can't be here for us", Robinson said of the police.
At a news conference, a sombre Ross said he "failed miserably" in addressing the arrests.
He says the police department did not have a policy for dealing for similar situations, but does now.
"We need a different type of action ... not words", Donte Robinson, who was arrested along with his friend Rashon Nelson, told the Associated Press.
Nelson and Robinson were taken into custody for trespassing and were released almost nine hours later after the district attorney rejected all charges.
"Previously we did not have such a policy. but we have a policy now", he said.
A meeting with Starbucks leadership to discuss the coffee company's role in gentrification and perpetuating racism, policies regarding customers and investment in black-owned franchises in African American communities. He said the incident had resulted in a "reprehensible outcome".
Johnson, joined by fellow councilpersons Blondell Reynolds Brown, Helen Gym and Derek Greene, Philadelphia NAACP President Rodney Muhammad, and other community leaders, had just finished meeting with Starbucks officials and gave them less than stellar reviews.