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Police chief defends officers' actions in viral Starbucks arrest video
16 April 2018, 01:59 | Cedric Leonard
Two men in Starbucks were arrested for the most ridiculous reason and people are outraged. Crime
Starbucks arrest video sparks furore
The employees told officers the two men wanted to use the restroom but were told the facilities are only for paying customers.
If the trespassers were white males and they refused to leave - even after police asked them, no one would have been concerned.
"Does anybody else think this is ridiculous?" he asks, calling it "absolute discrimination". Leftists howling that Starbucks discriminated contributes to the fatigue of the public on this issue, doing a potential disservice to those who actually suffer actual discrimination. The two unidentified men are taken out in handcuffs soon after.
So far, this seems an uneventful story about two trespassers non-violently arrested and escorted off private, commercial property which they had no legal right to occupy. The incident took place on Thursday but went viral after video showed the arrests this weekend.
Officers responded and asked the men three times "politely to leave the location because they were being asked to leave by employees because they were trespassing". "What did they get called for?"
There was no mention of the white man in the video who said he was meeting with the men. He said the DA will not bring charges against them. The men refused, he said.
The two men were led out of the cafe in handcuffs and released on lack of evidence that a crime had been committed.
'We apologize to the two individuals and our customers and are disappointed this led to an arrest. Johnson released a statement saying his company "stands firmly against discrimination or racial profiling".
In a video statement streamed on Facebook Live from the Philadelphia Police Department's page, Commissioner Richard Ross confirmed that on Thursday afternoon at 4:40 p.m., Philadelphia police received a 911 call from the Starbucks at 18 and Spruce Streets alleging disturbance and trespassing.
After the arrest, the police were also being criticized for their handling of the situation. But even if that was an appropriate implementation of the store's policy, it still doesn't explain why the men were asked to leave, nor why the police were then called on them. Staff there told police the men asked to use the restroom but had not ordered anything, which violated Starbucks policy. "They followed policy, they did what they were supposed to do, they were professional in all their dealings with these gentlemen and instead they got the opposite back", he said. At least 140 people have already indicated they will attend and more than 700 have shown interest. He said the incident underscores the need for more body-worn cameras to present different perspectives of police responses. As seen in the video, a total of six officers were involved in making the arrests.
At least two cellphone videos captured the incident. As the #BoycottStarbucks hashtag briefly began trending Saturday, the coffeehouse chain released the following official statement. Last year, the company vowed to hire 10,000 refugees in a move that drew calls for a boycott mostly from conservatives.
Johnson said he hopes to improve the company for all Starbucks employees and customers. Ross said police on the scene, "in an effort to quell the situation, called for a supervisor" to keep things from getting "out of hand".
The original video that was shared on Twitter on Thursday evening has been liked almost 1 million times and has since gone viral.
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