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Starbucks CEO apologizes for 'reprehensible' arrest of two black men

Facebook video  Melissa DePino

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said Saturday "I'm heartbroken to see Philadelphia in the headlines for an incident that. appears to exemplify what racial discrimination look like in 2018", local media reported.

"What happened to those two gentlemen was wrong", he said.

The employee said there was a number the store could call in case of a situation like a sit-in protest or someone disturbing the peace.

The two arrested men later were released without charges.

Starbucks' CEO now promises reform. "Everyone in the city government is complicit and so is Starbucks".

The incident took place on April 12. Two black men were waiting for one of their friends in the store, located at 18th and Spruce Streets, before placing their orders. A different attorney who had earlier represented them had described them as professionals in commercial real estate.

Johnson said he hoped to meet them in person to offer a "face-to-face apology".

Starbucks coffee shop managers will have trainings for combating "unconscious bias", its CEO said Monday, after police arrested two black men at a Philadelphia branch of the chain.

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"Starbucks was built as a company that creates a warm, welcoming environment for all customers. And that is what we're focused on".

The two men were reportedly waiting on another man to arrive for a meeting. He says he's like to have a dialogue with them and listen with "compassion and empathy" about what they went through.

First Coast News reached out to both Brandon Ward and Starbucks for additional comment on the Los Angeles Starbucks incident, but have not received additional comments as of publication. Some chanted, "A whole lot of racism, a whole lot of crap, Starbucks coffee is anti-black".

The men, yet unidentified, were arrested last Thursday when the store manager, who is white, called police to say that they were trespassing.

The Reverend Mark Tyler, part of an interfaith group organizing a protest on Monday afternoon, said he had not heard reports of similar issues at other area Starbucks. He added that the apology from Starbucks "is not enough" and that he would ask the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations to examine the firm's policies and procedures and whether there should be bias training for its employees. He said officers were told the men had come in and asked to use the restroom but were denied because they hadn't bought anything.

After the incident, the men were reportedly held for almost 12 hours and then released without being charged.

The men were arrested but later released.

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