WATCH | Outrage after two black men arrested in a Starbucks - for doing nothing
Starbucks has apologised after two black men were arrested in one of their Philadelphia coffee shops - for doing nothing.
Cellphone footage of Thursday’s incident show the two men sitting quietly at a table and talking for several minutes to police officers. They are then put in handcuffs and marched out.
The other patrons are heard objecting that the men were doing nothing wrong and appeared to be targeted merely for their race.
Melissa DePino tweeted one of the videos and add, "the police were called because these men hadn’t ordered anything."
@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
The incident caused a public outcry, with many taking to Twitter to slam Starbucks and the police's handling of the matter:
I'm done. I'm absolutely done with watching while Black people are criminalized, arrested, shot at, and executed because white folks cannot police their imagination.— Andray (@AndrayDomise) April 14, 2018
There is no earthly reason two men simply waiting on a friend at @Starbucks should have ended up in handcuffs.
Some people think there is no such thing as racial profiling. That it is made-up or an exaggeration. It’s not. This type of thing still happens in America. People get arrested for doing nothing...but being black or being Hispanic.@Starbucks, you got some explaining to do. https://t.co/f1yo8akksW— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) April 14, 2018
Lauren Wimmer, the attorney for the two men, told The Washington Post that her clients told a Starbucks employee that they were waiting for Andrew Yaffe, the white man seen in the video arguing with the police. Shortly after that, the employee called the police, Wimmer said.
Starbucks has since issued a statement apologising for the incident:
Philadelphia Police Department' Commissioner Richard Ross meanwhile took to Facebook to defend the actions of the officers. "“These officers did absolutely nothing wrong. They followed policy; they did what they were supposed to do," he said.
Ross said police arrested the men after they refused three requests to leave.