Black men arrested at Philadelphia Starbucks agree to meet with CEO

The two black men arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks last week have agreed to meet with Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson...

Posted: Apr 16, 2018 3:00 PM
Updated: Apr 16, 2018 3:01 PM

The two black men arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks last week have agreed to meet with Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson.

The timing of the meeting has not been set, according to a Starbucks spokesperson. The company said it hopes the meeting will occur this week while Johnson is in Philadelphia addressing the controversy over their arrests.

A store manager called the police because the two men were sitting in the store without placing an order. They were arrested for trespassing. The customers said they were waiting for another man to arrive. That person arrived at the store as they were being arrested.

In an interview Monday on ABC's "Good Morning America," Johnson said he hoped to meet with the two men in person to apologize face to face.

"I'd like to have a dialogue with them so that I can ensure that we have opportunity to really understand the situation and show some compassion and empathy for the experience they went through," he said. "Finally as we're working to solve this, I'd like to invite them to join me in finding a constructive way to solve this issue."

He called the arrests "reprehensible" and promised to take action so that it doesn't happen again.

Johnson has apologized repeatedly since news of the arrests went viral last week, but he declined during Monday's interview to say whether the manager would face discipline, declining to "point blame."

"My responsibility is to look not only at that individual but to look more broadly at the circumstances that set that up, to ensure that this never happens again," he said on "Good Morning America."

But the manager in the store who called police is no longer working in that store, said Starbucks spokesperson Jaime Riley, although she would not comment if she is working at another location.

Johnson said staff would get more training on "unconscious bias."

"I've been very focused on understanding what guidelines and what training ever let this happen," he said. "What happened was wrong, and we will fix it."

Johnson had already posted apologies on the company's website. He said the company wanted to "express our deepest apologies to the two men who were arrested with a goal of doing whatever we can to make things right." He was in Philadelphia on Monday when he conducted the interview on "Good Morning America."

"Starbucks stands firmly against discrimination or racial profiling," he said in the blog post.

Related: Starbucks achieves pay equity in the United States

The problems started when the men asked for the code needed to use the bathroom and were told it was only available for paying customers. 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.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney issued his own statement saying the incident "appears to exemplify what racial discrimination looks like in 2018." He added that the apology from Starbucks "is not enough" and that he would ask the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations to examine the firm's policies and procedures and whether there should be bias training for its employees.

Some Philadelphia residents want Starabucks to close the store involved in the incident. Protesters were in front of the store Monday, and some of the protestors went inside the store when heavy rains started. They were allowed into the store without being required to buy anything, said Riley.

"We're welcoming people to share their point of view in the store," said Riley.

Prosecutors in Philadelphia have announced they will not pursue charges against the men. Police Commissioner Richard Ross defended his officers' actions in a statement on Facebook, saying that the officers were called to respond to a trespassing complaint and that they behaved properly and followed procedure.

Related: Starbucks is giving baristas paid sick leave and stock bonuses

Starbucks has a history of advocating racial equality. In 2015 in the face of protests nationwide about police shootings of black men, Starbucks launched what it called the "race together" effort, having employees write that term on coffee cups to try to engage customers to think and talk about racial issues.

Terre Haute
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 96°
Robinson
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 95°
Indianapolis
Broken Clouds
89° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 93°
Rockville
Clear
86° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 90°
Casey
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 95°
Brazil
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 96°
Marshall
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 96°
Hot and humid with scattered pop-up storms this evening
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

Sunday Morning Forecast Update

Image

Illinois Lottery closing claims centers temporarily

Image

Travel safely this holiday

Image

Rubber Duck Regatta winner to donate portion of prize

Image

Remembering Eva Kor a year after her death

Image

The Mile supports kids running program

Image

Conservation club dedicates new flag

Image

Demonstrators demand immigration reform

Image

Saturday Morning Forecast Update

Image

Blue Lives Matter Rally takes place in front of THPD

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 146612

Reported Deaths: 7014
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook922404622
Lake9919423
DuPage9267475
Kane7819275
Will6883320
Winnebago308496
McHenry210397
St. Clair1988137
Kankakee130465
Rock Island101829
Madison100769
Kendall98921
Champaign93912
Boone60821
DeKalb57219
Peoria55128
Sangamon44632
Jackson33619
Randolph2887
Stephenson2765
McLean27313
Ogle2694
Clinton24117
Macon23422
LaSalle22517
Union19419
Whiteside19315
Coles17217
Grundy1715
Iroquois1615
Tazewell1498
Warren1430
Knox1370
Cass1367
Morgan1303
Monroe12913
Williamson1264
Adams1131
Jefferson10617
McDonough10215
Lee1012
Henry951
Vermilion772
Pulaski760
Marion690
Perry561
Macoupin553
Douglas540
Livingston522
Montgomery481
Jasper477
Unassigned470
Christian454
Jo Daviess451
Ford371
Jersey351
Woodford352
Bureau302
Franklin280
Menard240
Fayette233
Mercer230
Alexander220
Carroll222
Mason220
Wabash220
Washington210
Johnson200
Piatt200
Hancock191
Moultrie190
Shelby191
Crawford180
Effingham171
Logan170
Bond161
Cumberland160
Clark150
Fulton150
Massac150
Wayne141
Schuyler130
De Witt110
Brown100
Edgar100
Marshall100
Greene90
Saline90
Henderson80
Lawrence70
White60
Hamilton50
Richland40
Stark40
Pike30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Calhoun10
Hardin10
Pope10
Putnam10
Scott10
Out of IL00

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 47432

Reported Deaths: 2687
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11546683
Lake5104242
Elkhart321144
Allen2737129
St. Joseph190866
Cass16389
Hamilton1538100
Hendricks1390100
Johnson1256118
Porter72037
Tippecanoe6948
Madison65564
Clark64044
Bartholomew58244
Howard56557
LaPorte56326
Kosciusko5354
Vanderburgh5026
Marshall4823
Jackson4693
Noble46928
LaGrange4677
Hancock44035
Boone43743
Delaware43150
Shelby42325
Floyd37144
Morgan32731
Montgomery29320
Grant29126
Clinton2882
Monroe27628
Dubois2666
White26010
Henry25815
Decatur24932
Lawrence24225
Vigo2318
Dearborn22823
Harrison21222
Warrick21229
Greene18532
Miami1822
Jennings17411
Putnam1688
DeKalb1604
Scott1607
Daviess14216
Orange13623
Wayne1366
Steuben1282
Perry1279
Franklin1248
Ripley1157
Jasper1142
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette987
Newton9810
Starke923
Whitley905
Randolph784
Huntington742
Jefferson722
Wells711
Fulton691
Jay680
Washington681
Gibson672
Knox640
Pulaski641
Clay604
Rush563
Adams501
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown381
Posey380
Blackford372
Spencer371
Crawford300
Fountain302
Tipton301
Switzerland260
Martin220
Parke220
Ohio140
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike100
Unassigned0193