This week, there has been much controversy surrounding an incident that occurred at a Starbucks in Philadelphia. Two Black men were arrested after an employee reported to the police that the men had trespassed. Video clips of the incident showcase other customers protesting and calling the incident uncalled for, as the two men were taken out of the establishment.
The Philadelphia police commissioner, Richard Ross, put out a statement in defense of the situation by saying that the men attempted to use the bathroom, but were told that the bathroom was only available for paying customers. The men then refused to leave Starbucks, after being asked by employees to leave three times. However, sources say that the men were at the shop waiting to meet with someone before ordering.
Ross further stated “ As an African American male, I am very aware of implicit bias; we are committed to fair and unbiased policing, If a business calls and they say that ‘Someone is here that I no longer wish to be in my business,’ now I have a legal obligation to carry out their duties and they did just that. Since the incident, Starbucks has issued an apology for the arrests and the men were immediately released after the company no longer pressed the issue.
People have now called for a #BoycottStarbucks movement and one notable celebrity has joined the cause. T.I. who stands for the movement has had a history of boycotting establishments who discriminate against minorities. “I ain’t spending no more of my bread wit em,” he penned under an Instagram post. “Urge y’ll no to either.”