City of Philadelphia settles with men arrested at Starbucks

The city will help them develop a $200,000 program for student entrepreneurs.

Cherri Gregg
May 02, 2018 - 12:28 pm

Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The City of Philadelphia has reached a settlement agreement with the two young men arrested after being racially profiled at a Center City Starbucks in April. There's also talks of a settlement with Starbucks as well.

The city confirmed that Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson have settled all claims stemming from the April 12 arrest for the symbolic total of $1 each. Their attorney, Stewart Cohen, has waived all attorney fees as well. Instead, the city and the two men will work with a non-profit organization to develop a $200,000 grant-funded program for public high school students who wish to become entrepreneurs.

RELATED: Police commissioner apologizes following Starbucks arrest

"It's fair, and I think that it is productive as far as the ultimate use of the money," Mayor Jim Kenney said.

Kenney said the settlement allows the city to move forward and heal. "Obviously, they're high-quality people, and this is a totally unfortunate sitation that should've never happened." The next step is to complete the internal affairs investigation and audit procedures, he said, "and see if we can't tweak them to the point where it makes sense."

Starbucks released a statement on Wednesday saying that they have reached a settlement that includes a financial component. Details will be released publicly at a later date.

RELATED: Starbucks CEO meets with two men arrested inside Center City store

At the time of the arrest, Nelson and Robinson were led away in handcuffs after the manager called police, saying the men refused to buy anything or leave. After spending hours in jail, they were released, and no charges were filed.

The men said they were waiting for a business meeting about a potential real estate deal.

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson came to Philadelphia to personally apologize. He also announced Starbucks stores would close May 29 for training on bias.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.