Starbucks CEO Meets With Two Men Arrested Inside Center City Store

Pat Loeb
April 17, 2018 - 11:00 am
Starbucks Protest

Photo credit: Tim Jimenez

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- The CEO of Starbucks has met with the two black men at the center of a racially charged incident inside a Center City store that sparked protests in the city and across the country.

A company spokesperson said Tuesday that CEO Kevin Johnson apologized to the two men, but would not go into details about the meeting.

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The men were arrested Thursday inside the Starbucks at 18th and Spruce Streets after an employee called police to say the men were trespassing. The men said they were waiting there to meet an associate and were denied access to the restroom because they hadn't purchased anything. The outrage began after video of the men being handcuffed and placed under arrest was posted online.

Starbucks officials met with Philadelphia leaders Monday to discuss how the company can best make up for an incident. 

The officials met for roughly half an hour before Johnson emerged, saying the meeting had been constructive.

"We really appreciate the transparency and the spirit with which we're working together to insure that we address the situation that happened last week in a Starbucks store," Johnson said.

Starbucks COO Ros Brewer was also in the meeting. 

"They were very productive conversations," he said. "This is just the beginning of a lot of work that we plan to do together and we look forward to a very positive outcome here."

Mayor Kenney said the company was contrite and intent on making improvements.

"They're going to go through all the data they have in Philadelphia and around the country to see if they've had any complaints like this before and they're going to do unconscious bias traing for employees so they're stepping up and talking about the things that need to be talked about," said Kenney.

Councilman Kenyatta Johnson was also among those attending, saying "we're going to work on this for the long term, until we get to the bottom of it."