@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
A video of two black men being taken out of a Philadelphia Starbucks in handcuffs has caused a social media firestorm, with police saying they “did absolutely nothing wrong.”
#BoycottStartucks has begun to trend on Twitter after @missydepino filmed the scene and published it via a tweet April 12, where it already garnered nearly five million views at the time of publishing.
In the video, at least six Philadelphia police officers are seen taking the two cooperative men out of the store, located at 18th and Spruce Streets.
The caption of the video states: “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.”
Several white customers could be heard defending the black men in the background.
“This is ridiculous,” says one man from the scene. “What did they get called for? Cuz there were two black guys sitting here eating? What did they do, what did they do?”
“They didn’t do anything,” a woman replies. “I saw the entire thing.”
In a second video, which was reportedly taken only minutes before the arrests, shows officers speaking to the men before a third man, identified as Andrew Yaffe, emerges, and alleges that the black men were waiting for him.
When Yaffe, who is white, asks the officers why they are surrounding the men, an officer said it was due to “trespassing,” adding that the men were asked to leave.
“Why would they be asked to leave?” Yaffe asks the officers. “I wanted to get coffee for two black guys sitting and meeting with me,” he tells the officer. “Does anybody else think this is ridiculous?” he asks other customers.
“It is ridiculous,” a woman replies.
“It’s absolutely discrimination,” Yaffe stated.
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
Starbucks responded to the video saying they’re “reviewing the incident with our partners, law enforcement and customers to determine what took place and led to this unfortunate result.” The company also issued the following statement April 14:
We apologize to the two individuals and our customers and are disappointed this led to an arrest. We take these matters seriously and clearly have more work to do when it comes to how we handle incidents in our stores. We are reviewing our policies and will continue to engage with the community and the police department to …read more