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Starbucks apologizes for 'reprehensible' arrest of two blacks

World | Apr 17, 2018
The chief executive of Starbucks has apologized for an incident at one of the mammoth chain's Philadelphia cafes where two black men were arrested for trespassing while waiting for a friend.

A video of the incident posted on Twitter was viewed millions of times, drawing widespread condemnation on social media.

Chief executive Kevin Johnson expressed Starbucks' "deepest apologies" for what he said was the "reprehensible outcome" of the incident.

Johnson said the firm would investigate and "make any necessary changes" to avoid a recurrence.

The video posted by Melissa DePino shows several uniformed officers questioning, then handcuffing the pair, who offer no resistance. A white client objects to the scene, repeatedly asking an officer, "What'd they do? What'd they do?"

DePino tweeted: "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 . . . All the other white [people] are wondering why it's never happened to us when we do the same thing."

The men's lawyer, Lauren Wimmer, said they were waiting for a third man to arrive for a business meeting.

The two were released after Starbucks declined to prosecute them.

Johnson said he hoped to meet them "to offer a face-to-face apology."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE



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