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#BoycottStarbucks: Video Shows 2 Black Men Arrested for Sitting at Starbucks

 

Melissa DePino@missydepino

@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.

5:12 PM – Apr 12, 2018

A video of two black men being taken out of a Philadelphia Starbucks in handcuffs has caused a social media firestorm, with police saying they “did absolutely nothing wrong.”

#BoycottStartucks has begun to trend on Twitter after @missydepino filmed the scene and published it via a tweet April 12, where it already garnered nearly five million views at the time of publishing.

In the video, at least six Philadelphia police officers are seen taking the two cooperative men out of the store, located at 18th and Spruce Streets.

The caption of the video states: “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.”

Several white customers could be heard defending the black men in the background.

“This is ridiculous,” says one man from the scene. “What did they get called for? Cuz there were two black guys sitting here eating? What did they do, what did they do?”

“They didn’t do anything,” a woman replies. “I saw the entire thing.”

In a second video, which was reportedly taken only minutes before the arrests, shows officers speaking to the men before a third man, identified as Andrew Yaffe, emerges, and alleges that the black men were waiting for him.

When Yaffe, who is white, asks the officers why they are surrounding the men, an officer said it was due to “trespassing,” adding that the men were asked to leave.

“Why would they be asked to leave?” Yaffe asks the officers. “I wanted to get coffee for two black guys sitting and meeting with me,” he tells the officer. “Does anybody else think this is ridiculous?” he asks other customers.

“It is ridiculous,” a woman replies.

“It’s absolutely discrimination,” Yaffe stated.

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

Starbucks Coffee✔@Starbucks

We apologize to the two individuals and our customers for what took place at our Philadelphia store on Thursday.

12:59 PM – Apr 14, 2018

Starbucks responded to the video saying they’re “reviewing the incident with our partners, law enforcement and customers to determine what took place and led to this unfortunate result.” The company also issued the following statement April 14:

We apologize to the two individuals and our customers and are disappointed this led to an arrest. 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.

Philadelphia Police✔@PhillyPolice

We are aware of an incident that occurred on 4-12-18 at the Starbucks Café at 18th and Spruce. The entire incident, including the actions of the responding officers, is under internal investigation. Once we gather all the facts, we will comment further.

9:57 PM – Apr 13, 2018

“We are aware of an incident that occurred on 4-12-18 at the Starbucks Café at 18th and Spruce,” Philadelphia Police tweeted April 13. “The entire incident, including the actions of the responding officers, is under internal investigation. Once we gather all the facts, we will comment further.”

However, on April 14 Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross spoke out on Facebook Live, stating the officers “did absolutely nothing wrong.” Ross stated, in part:

On Thursday at about 4:40, police received a 911 call for a disturbance and trespassing. When the police arrived, they were met by Starbucks employees who said that two males were trespassing and had refused to leave the establishment. According to employees, they had seen these two males come in, they had sat down. And after being seated they decided they had to use the restroom. Starbucks said according to their company policy, they do not allow non-paying members or non-paying people of the public to use the restroom.

Ross said the men were told by officers who asked them to leave that they were trespassing. The men answered “we don’t care,” to which Ross said was “same type of attitude” described by Starbucks employees.

“As an African American male, I am very aware of implicit bias.” Ross said, adding that the department is “committed to fair and unbiased policing.” However, he also explained that officers do in fact have a right to act when a business calls with this type of complaint.

The Incident Has Caused Outrage Via Social Media

Thun Derup@DonkeyPunch_Dev

17h

Replying to @rachelface927 and 2 others

Isn’t it trespassing if they tell you to leave?

Rachel Greer@rachelface927

were they told to leave? doubtful. they probably weren’t even spoken to – “scary black guys just sitting there, better call the cops.” the fact that we have to try to justify the reason is part of the problem. black people are hassled every day for no reason whatsoever.

1:54 AM – Apr 14, 2018

Many are taking to social media to express their outrage towards the incident.

“were they told to leave? doubtful,” @rachelface927 tweeted. “they probably weren’t even spoken to – “scary black guys just sitting there, better call the cops.” the fact that we have to try to justify the reason is part of the problem. black people are hassled every day for no reason whatsoever.”

GreyLady@GreyLady8152

#BoycottStarbucks Thanks for posting. I will not spend another dime @Starbucks. White people sit there for hours & no one bothers them. Black men sitting & waiting for a friend get arrested. Clearly they don’t deserve our money.

6:28 PM – Apr 13, 2018

“#BoycottStarbucks Thanks for posting. I will not spend another dime @Starbucks,” @rachelface927 wrote. “White people sit there for hours & no one bothers them. Black men sitting & waiting for a friend get arrested. Clearly they don’t deserve our money.”

The district attorney’s office said it will not seek charges against the men because of a lack of evidence.

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Comment by El-Bull on April 15, 2018 at 8:27pm

Vana yeah, right, your azz will still be going there with your friends and family, giving them your money for overpriced coffee----stop the bullsyt.....you know you'll still go and won't support the boycott, let alone a black boycott---GTFOH 

Comment by Vana on April 15, 2018 at 7:47pm

Definitely boycott STARBUCKS!

Comment by Vana on April 15, 2018 at 7:39pm

Black men are always perceived as threats.  Doesn't matter if they did nothing. Black Lives Don't Matter.

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