(CNN Spanish) –
Starbucks says the two black men arrested at a Philadelphia location last week have agreed to meet with the company’s chief executive, Kevin Johnson.
A spokesman for the company says Starbucks expects the meeting to take place while the CEO is in Philadelphia this week.
The manager of one of his stores called the police last week because the two men were sitting without asking for anything. They were arrested for invasion of private property. The customers said they were waiting for another man to arrive. That person arrived at the store when the police were arresting them.
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In the program Good Morning America On ABC this Monday, Johnson called the arrests “reprehensible” and promised to take steps so that something like this would not happen again.
A viral arrest
The video of the arrest, which has added millions of views since it was posted on Twitter last Thursday, shows Philadelphia policemen arresting two black men at a Starbucks location.
Melissa DePino, who posted the video, wrote: “They called the police because these men had not ordered anything, they were waiting for a friend to arrive, who arrived while they were being handcuffed for nothing.”
@Starbucks The police were called because these men had not ordered anything. They were waiting for a friend to show up, who did 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’re the same thing. pic.twitter.com/0U4Pzs55Ci – Melissa DePino (@missydepino) April 12, 2018
In the video you see a man telling a policeman that he had stayed with the two men in the place and asking what they did so that the police had to go.
Outside the camera, other people are heard saying: “They did not do anything”.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross gave a statement on Facebook Live saying that his agents “did absolutely nothing wrong” and explained that Starbucks employees called the 911 emergency number to file a complaint trespassing
The employees told the cops that the two men wanted to use the bathroom but that they were told that the facilities were for customers only. The employees asked the men to leave, but they refused, Ross said.
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When the police asked the men to leave and they refused, they were arrested “without incident,” Ross said.
The men were taken to a police station and then released because Starbucks did not file charges.
Ross, who is black, referred to his own experience to defend his position: “As a black man, I am fully aware that there is an implicit prejudice.”
“We are committed to fair and impartial action and we will not tolerate anything less in this Department.”
In a statement on Twitter, Starbucks apologized to the two people involved and their customers.
“We take these matters seriously and clearly have more work to do when it comes to how we handle incidents in our stores,” the statement said.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said the Starbucks apology “is not enough.”
“Starbucks should be a place where everyone is treated the same way, regardless of the color of their skin,” Kenney said.