Starbucks CEO Says He Wants To Apologize To Men Arrested In Philadelphia Store

Starbucks manager leaves company after controversial arrest of 2 black men

PHILADELPHIA -- The Starbucks manager who came under fire after calling 911 last week to report that two black men who were inside the store were trespassing has left the company, officials told The Philadelphia Inquirer.

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A company spokeswoman told the Inquirer Monday that the decision was “mutual.”

The arrests, at the Starbucks at 18th and Spruce streets in Philadelphia, sparked outrage and questions of racial bias after video of the encounter was posted to social media.

Photos posted to social media appeared to show the store closed Monday after about two dozen protesters stood by the coffee shop’s counter, chanting “Starbucks coffee is anti-black,” according to The Associated Press.

More than 100 people protested outside the shop Sunday, calling for the manager’s dismissal.

Protesters gather outside a Starbucks in Philadelphia, Sunday, April 15, 2018, where two black men were arrested Thursday after Starbucks employees called police to say the men were trespassing. The arrest prompted accusations of racism on social media. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson posted a lengthy statement Saturday night, calling the situation "disheartening" and that it led to a "reprehensible" outcome. (AP Photo/Ron Todt)
Photo: Ron Todt/AP

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson apologized for the incident in a statement Saturday and pledged to investigate. He said Monday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that he plans to meet with Philadelphia’s mayor and police. He said he also hopes to meet with the two men who were arrested, who have not been identified.

“Starbucks stands firmly against discrimination or racial profiling,” Johnson said Saturday.

Police Commissioner Richard Ross said Saturday that employees told officers the two men arrested Thursday were asked to leave after they tried to use the Starbucks’ bathroom without making a purchase first. The men were not charged.

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