Philadelphia police chief defends officers who arrested two black men at Starbucks
A video of two black men being arrested at a Starbucks in Philadelphia has gone viral, leading to charges of racism by the city's police department, and eliciting a statement from the mayor and an apology from Starbucks.
The arrests were defended by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross, who said the officers were responding to a 911 call from employees.
Commissioner Richard Ross said Starbucks employees called 911 to say the men were trespassing. He said officers were told that the men had come in and asked to use the restroom but were denied because they hadn't bought anything, as he said is company policy. He said they then refused to leave.
Ross, who is black, said police asked the men to leave three times but they refused. They were then arrested, but later released after the company elected not to prosecute. He said the officers "did absolutely nothing wrong" and were professional in their conduct toward the two men but "got the opposite back." He did not mention the man who said he was meeting with the other two men.
The routine policy of tens of thousands of retail outlets around the country that states no use of public facilities unless the customer purchases something is now called "racist" because two black guys refused to accept that policy. It doesn't matter that they were there to meet someone. If that were the case, they could have met their friend and gone somwhere else to use the facilities.
Should they have been arrested? Here's the full 8 minute video of the incident. You decide.
Starbucks issued an apology:
We apologize to the two individuals and our customers for what took place at our Philadelphia store on Thursday. pic.twitter.com/suUsytXHks— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) April 14, 2018
Just to be clear, Starbucks is apologizing for enforcing a policy in place in every one of their stores in the US.
I have no idea what sort of neighborhood that particular Starbucks is in, but I know that the policy is important in some high crime areas because it prevents loitering. Without the policy, drug dealers can sit around all day doing deals, intimidating legitimate customers, and occupying space that could be used by the paying public.
Obviously, we don't know what business the two men had. But it's a simple policy that no one else I've heard of has found objectionable.That Starbucks apologized is fully understandable given their corporate mania with political correctness. But the publicity over this incident will no doubt encourage others to challenge the law and make some Starbucks outlets no-go zones.