Starbucks employees called the police on two black men who were allegedly trespassing in a Philadelphia store. PHOTO CREDIT: Twitter / NPR
Documented in a video that has gone viral on social media, two black men were arrested at a Starbucks in Philadelphia last week for allegedly trespassing. Apparently, the two men in question came in and tried to use the restroom at Starbucks but were told they couldn’t because they hadn’t purchased anything. Instead, they sat down quietly to wait for a friend.
@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
Starbucks employees then told the men to leave, and naturally, they refused as they weren’t causing any trouble. "[The two men] said they were confused. This is a Starbucks. Since when are people asked to leave a Starbucks who are just sitting there?" as reported by NBC news. Employees called the police who also asked the men to leave and then arrested them when they refused, even as the friend they were waiting on arrived and defended their stay there.
A witness said that a white man sitting next to her had been at the Starbucks for 30 minutes without making a purchase and a jogger came in and used the bathroom without making a purchase. She was upset to see how the two black men were treated for the same behavior exhibited by their white counterparts.
"I am heartbroken to see Philadelphia in the headlines for an incident that — at least based on what we know at this point — appears to exemplify what racial discrimination looks like in 2018. For many, Starbucks is not just a place to buy a cup of coffee, but a place to meet up with friends or family members, or to get some work done. Like all retail establishments in our city, Starbucks should be a place where everyone is treated the same, no matter the color of their skin." ~ Philadelphia's mayor, Jim Kenney, via NPR