Philadelphia police are under national scrutiny after arresting two black men who were waiting in a Starbucks for a business meeting.
The men reportedly had not yet purchased drinks when they asked to use the bathroom. Store employees said no, according to policy for non-customers, and told them to leave the store. When they did not leave, a Starbucks employee called the police. At least six officers arrested the men for "defiant trespassing" while other patrons protested that they'd done nothing wrong.
Several minutes of the arrest were caught on camera and went viral online, after which Starbucks issued an apology for its employees' behavior. "This is ridiculous," the third member of the business meeting, who is white, can be heard asking in the video. "What did [the police] get called for? Because there were two black guys sitting here meeting me? What did they do?"
The men were released after about eight hours after Starbucks told authorities it did not wish to press charges. Police Commissioner Richard Ross said Saturday the officers "did absolutely nothing wrong," but the mayor's office has opened a separate investigation.
Watch the arrest video below. Bonnie Kristian
@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