Two black men arrested waiting at a Starbucks, company and police on the offensive

PHILADELPHIA- Starbucks is facing criticism after an arrests of two black men at a Philadelphia store, sparking accusations of racial profiling over what the company’s chief executive now calls a “reprehensible” incident.

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson in a statement on Saturday offered  “our deepest condolences” on Saturday to the two men who were taken out of the store in handcuffs by at least six officers on Thursday.

The store manager had asked the two men to leave after they attempted to use the bathroom but had not made any purchases, police said.

Later the attorney for the men said they were waiting for a friend.  The manager proceed to call 911 for assistance, the company said. .

The police’s confrontation with the men was captured on video, which has sparked widespread condemnation on how the police handled the situation.

Mayor Jim Kenney a Democrat tweeted,  “I am heartbroken to see Philadelphia in the headlines for an incident that — at least based on what we know at this point — appears to exemplify what racial discrimination looks like in 2018.”

The two men were taken to a police station, they were fingerprinted and photographed, their attorney Lauren Wimmer told The Washington Post on Saturday.

She said her clients have declined to be identified, were released eight hours later because the district attorney found no evidence of a crime, adding the Starbucks manager was white.

A witness to the incident Andrew Yaffe said, “Why would they be asked to leave?”

“Does anybody else think this is ridiculous?” he asks people nearby. “It’s absolute discrimination.”

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