Coffeehouse giant Starbucks is issuing an apology following a baffling arrest that occurred in Philadelphia which achieved viral status once the footage was shared online.
On Thursday, video emerged of two black men that were arrested for seemingly just being inside the business. Witnesses say the men were met by police for not purchasing something as they waited for their friend to show up. The men calmly explained they hadn’t done anything wrong.
“The police were called because these men hadn’t ordered anything.” shared Melissa DePino who posted video of the incident. “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.”
Video of the arrest, which has already reached 3 million plus views alone on Twitter, resulted in backlash against the chain for what appears to be wanton discrimination against African-American clientele. On Saturday, Starbucks offered an apology and declared they plan to review their policies going forward.
“We apologize to the two individuals and our customers and are disappointed this led to an arrest,” stated Starbucks in a message sent out on Twitter. “We take these matters seriously and clearly have more work to do when it comes to how we handle incidents in our stores. We are reviewing our policies and will continue to engage with the community and the police department to try to ensure these types of situations never happen in any of our stores.”
For those seeking an alternative to Starbucks following this incident, there are a number of black-owned coffee and tea businesses happy to receive your business.