Stephon Clark family attorney and Omega Psi Phi fraternity member Benjamin Crump issues statement on Starbucks arrest 

Attorney Benjamin Crump issues an exclusive statement to theGrio.

In an exclusive statement to theGrio, attorney Benjamin Crump issues a statement about the Starbucks incident.

Omega Psi Phi fraternity brothers around the country have rallied around Rashon Nelson after a video of his arrest at a Philadelphia Starbucks went viral and made headlines.

Nelson is a member of the Alpha Eta chapter of Omega Psi Phi and attended Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania as a finance major from 2013-2017.

Another member of the fraternity is famed civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who is currently representing the family of Stephon Clark, the 22-year old man who was fatally shot by the Sacramento police last month.

In his statement, exclusively provided to theGrio, Crump details how Nelson handled the situation:

“As shameful as the actions of the Starbucks employees were, these two young men conducted themselves with dignity and class. The character they demonstrated by remaining respectful even as they were being disrespected — for no reason other than the color of their skin — did them true credit. We should champion these young brothers for the way they handled themselves, even though the system tried to marginalize them and ascribe to them criminal intent. This is the hard reality of being black in America. Implicit bias dictates how people of color are treated and erodes their freedoms as they exercise their rights as citizens.

I’m very proud that one of these men, Rashon Nelson, is a member of my fraternity and lived by the values we learned as brothers of Omega Psi Phi – that our actions help us become bridge-builders for generations to come. We should teach young people to choose their actions and respond to prejudice in the way Gandhi exercised civil disobedience toward injustice and the way Dr. King showed the path to non-violence. These two young men demonstrated similar laudable leadership.”

Omega Psi Phi responds

Earlier today, the Grand Basileus of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Antonio F. Knox, Sr. released a statement indicating that one of their own was part of the incident.

In part, the statement reads:

“There were others in Starbucks that boldly stood up to speak against the actions taken by police and management. The CEO of Starbucks has made a public apology and I applaud his sincerity but the change within his company must include the training of management and employees on the correct procedures to embrace and understand diversity and continuously act accordingly. This will determine if Starbucks gets this right.

My Brothers, let’s continue to lift as we climb to show this world how good it will be when we all turn to the solid rock of brotherhood and mankind! WE ARE ONE!”