Starbucks has issued an apology after a viral video showed two black men being arrested for refusing to leave when a store employee denied them access to the restroom at a Starbucks in Philadelphia.
Melissa DePino, who posted the video, wrote, “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.”
@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. pic.twitter.com/0U4Pzs55Ci
— Melissa DePino (@missydepino) April 12, 2018
The Starbucks employees told officers the two men wanted to use the restroom but were told the facilities are only for paying customers. The employees then asked the men to leave, but they refused,
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross, who is black, is defending the actions of officers in the viral video which has racked up millions of views since it was posted to Twitter on Thursday.
“They did a service that they were called to do,” Ross says of the officers. “And if you think about it logically, that if a business calls and they say that someone is here that I no longer wish to be in my business, (officers) now have a legal obligation to carry out their duties. And they did just that.”
Facing major backlash, Starbucks issued an apology on Twitter Saturday morning.