Starbucks came under fire this weekend after video surfaced on social media showing Philadelphia police officers arresting two Black men.
According to social media accounts, the two men were waiting in the Starbucks for a friend when a barista called the cops.
“What did they do,” one man can be heard saying in a video captured by Melissa DePino.
“They didn’t do anything, I saw the entire thing,” another person said.
Just as the friend of the two men arrived, the men were put in handcuffs and arrested by police.
Alan Yaffe, a white man, enters the frame and questions why the police are standing over the men. One officer says they are “trespassing,” and adds they had been asked to leave.
“Why would they be asked to leave?” Yaffe asks, adding that the men were waiting for him. “I wanted to get coffee for two black guys sitting and meeting with me,” he tells the officer. “Does anybody else think this is ridiculous?” he asks other patrons in the shop. A woman agrees. “It’s absolute discrimination,” Yaffe adds. He says he and the men can go elsewhere to meet. An officer says it’s too late for that, because the two sitting men had previously declined to leave. The video ends as the officers arrest the men and leading them out of the coffee shop.
The fiery backlash on social media was swift with people calling for the popular coffee chain to address this incident using the hashtag #boycottstarbucks and demands that the Starbucks manager who called the police be fired immediately.
According to Philly.com, the manager in question has left the company in what a company spokeswoman called a “mutual” decision.