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Starbucks is under fire after many said two black men were “unnecessarily” arrested at a Philadelphia location, sparking #BoycottStarbucks on Twitter.
A video, which surfaced online Thursday, shows police talking to two black men before handcuffing them and escorting them out of the building.
In the clip, which has been viewed more than 3 million times, a patron can be heard saying, “They didn’t do anything” after another asks, “What did they [the police] get called for, because there were two black guys sitting here meeting me?”
In a tweet, Melissa DePino, who recorded the moment, said, “The police were called because these men hadn’t ordered anything. They were waiting for a friend to show up, who did as they were taken out in handcuffs for doing nothing.”
@Starbucks The police were called because these men hadn’t ordered anything. They were waiting for a friend to show up, who did as they were taken out in handcuffs for doing nothing. All the other white ppl are wondering why it’s never happened to us when we do the same thing. pic.twitter.com/0U4Pzs55Ci— Melissa DePino (@missydepino) April 12, 2018
Amid outrage, Starbucks issued a statement online, writing, “We apologize to the two individuals and our customers and are disappointed this led to an arrest.”
We apologize to the two individuals and our customers for what took place at our Philadelphia store on Thursday. pic.twitter.com/suUsytXHks— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) April 14, 2018
During a Facebook Live statement uploaded Saturday afternoon, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross described the incident. He said the men were “trespassing,” because they were non-paying customers who wanted to use the bathroom. When Starbucks employees asked the men to leave, they refused and the police were called. He said the officers “did absolutely nothing wrong.”
However, several on social media disagreed and #BoycottStarbucks soon became a trending topic on Twitter Saturday. Many called the arrest racist and discriminatory.
African Americans are the worlds #1 consumers. After the speed and magnitude of money spent to see #BlackPanther no business should want to tangle with African Americans. #BoycottStarbucks should terrify Starbucks. Let's make this trend, and let's boycott them.— NV Resistance (@justmeinlv) April 14, 2018
Black America, Make a commitment- DO NOT SPEND OR INVEST YOUR MONEY WHERE YOU ARE NOT WELCOMED OR DISRESPECTED.— veronicanyce (@VeronicaNyce) April 14, 2018
The employee at Starbucks put those two Black men in danger by unnecessarily calling the police.#BlackTwitter #BoycottStarbucks #DivestFromRacism (NASDAQ: SBUX)
Every👏🏽employee 👏🏽in👏🏽here👏🏽needs👏🏽to👏🏽go. Not 1 stood up. Not 1 told the cops it’s not that serious. Not 1 showed these men the courtesy and dignity they deserved. I’m sure this is not the first time. @starbucks a gift card won’t fix this. #boycottstarbucks— ItsJustMeElaine (@HavSommoCafe) April 14, 2018
Next time I walk by Starbucks (because I'm never going in again) and I see white people without drinks in their hands I'm calling the cops. #BoycottStarbucks— BurnDog (@BurnDog10) April 14, 2018
#BoycottStarbucks what gets me is how did the barrista word it for the police to come? Did he/she just mention the word black? Because I would need more than "I got 2 potential customers in our Starbucks not ordering anything "— Kevin Noah Riley (@KevinNoahRiley2) April 14, 2018
Is it your policy to call the cops on people who don’t order right away? Asking for my black friends... #BoycottStarbucks— Michelle (@Mbathg8) April 14, 2018
The anxiety and depression I would have today, had I been born a black male in this country— I know I couldn’t survive it. There is absolutely NOTHING to justify the blatant oppression they experience, every. single. day. Nothing. #BoycottStarbucks— KimmyDarling ◡̈ (@KimmyDarling) April 14, 2018
You guys have issued more heartfelt apologies for being out of scones & almond milk. The barista in question needs to be terminated, these gentleman need to be compensated, and there needs to be company wide diversity training. #BoycottStarbucks #BlackLivesMatters https://t.co/3zcObeDHiM— Elgin Charles (@ElginCharles) April 14, 2018
Other the other hand, a few said the coffee chain should not be blamed for a few people’s actions. They thought the hashtag was “unnecessary.”
1 Starbucks out of how many across the country? From my understanding this was one incident. Let’s not boycott a whole franchise for one store’s mistake. They came out with an apology. #BoycottStarbucks is an unnecessary hashtag.That’s just like calling every white person racist— Monica😍 (@RealityofLA) April 14, 2018
There are 13,930 Starbucks in the US. People want to boycott ALL Starbucks because two guys were racially profiled at ONE of them...is this not hypocritical to PROFILE all Starbucks as racist? If you want to boycott, boycott the Starbucks who Racially Profiled. #BoycottStarbucks— Brett Butler (@br3tt_butler) April 14, 2018
Sorry, but Starbucks isn’t racist just because they have a couple employees that are garbage. This country is pretty good at blaming a whole group for a couple peoples actions. #BoycottStarbucks— Not David Koresh (@TeamStradley) April 14, 2018