A Philadelphia Starbucks manager has left the company after protests erupted stemming from a viral video that showed two black men being arrested for refusing to leave when a store employee denied them access to the restroom.
A Starbucks company spokeswoman told The Philadelphia Inquirer that the manager’s departure was a “mutual” decision.
Protesters demonstrated at the location on Monday morning chanting that Starbucks was “anti-black.” The store was later closed.
Happening NOW: Protesters *inside of Center City @Starbucks store where two black men were arrested after sitting in store without purchasing a drink. Protesters demanding employee who called police be fired. @6abc pic.twitter.com/cEmemwcDwC
— Jeannette Reyes (@6abcJeannette) April 16, 2018
A sign on the front door said, “We are temporarily closed. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please visit one of our surrounding neighborhood stores.”
Police Commissioner Richard Ross, who is black, had defended the actions of his officers, saying they had no choice but to act after employees told them that the two men were trespassing.
Starbucks Corp Chief Executive Kevin Johnson apologized on ABC’s Good Morning America this morning.
“The circumstances surrounding the incident and the outcome in our store on Thursday were reprehensible … they were wrong,” he said. “Clearly, there’s an opportunity for us to provide clarity and in addition to that I’d say there’s training, more training that we’re going to do with our store managers, not only around the guidelines but training around unconscious bias.”