The CEO of Starbucks, Kevin Johnson, has penned a letter in response to an incident at one of the coffee chain’s Philadelphia stores last Thursday.
A pair of black men, who were waiting for a family friend inside the Starbucks, were arrested by Philadelphia police.
@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
According to witnesses, police were called by an employee because the men didn’t order a drink and asked to use the store’s bathroom.
Video of the incident and the an outraged response from the public went viral over the weekend, leading to the response from Johnson.
He said he wrote the letter to convey three things.
First, to once again express our deepest apologies to the two men who were arrested with a goal of doing whatever we can to make things right. Second, to let you know of our plans to investigate the pertinent facts and make any necessary changes to our practices that would help prevent such an occurrence from ever happening again. And third, to reassure you that Starbucks stands firmly against discrimination or racial profiling.
Johnson called the outcome of the situation “reprehensible” and said the company has immediately begun a thorough investigation of its practices
We regret that our practices and training led to the reprehensible outcome at our Philadelphia store. We’re taking immediate action to learn from this and be better. A statement from ceo Kevin Johnson: https://t.co/kPav8bEeOX— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) April 15, 2018
“Regretfully, our practices and training led to a bad outcome - the basis for the call to the Philadelphia police department was wrong,” he continued. “Our store manager never intended for these men to be arrested and this should never have escalated as it did.”
In response to the incident, Johnson said the company will further train its partners to better know when assistance from police is warranted.
The two men who were arrested are reportedly both real estate brokers and were held in jail for a number of hours on Thursday before being released at 1:30 a.m.