MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Two African American men who were arrested at a Starbucks last week in Philadelphia. They were told they could not use the restroom because they were not paying customers.That store and other Starbucks have that policy. The two sat down, were approached by the manager and were asked if they needed help. One of the two declined, stating they were waiting for a business meeting. You know a meeting over coffee.
Later, police walked into the coffee shop and two were arrested for trespassing. These two guys were taken to police headquarters and held in jail until midnight just for sitting in a coffee shop.
Mayor Jim Kenney, who is white, said what happened at the Starbucks "appears to exemplify what racial discrimination looks like in 2018" and I agree. Police Commissioner Richard Ross, who's black, said the arresting officers "did absolutely nothing wrong," and added that Nelson and Robinson were disrespectful to officers.
To me, the police should have never been there, and I sense would not have been if the two men were white. In the week since the men have met with Starbucks' CEO and have started pushing for lasting changes to ensure what happened to them doesn't happen to anyone else.
Thankfully the manager of the store is no longer with the company. Starbucks will shut down their restaurants in May for training to address this situation. I personally don't drink coffee, but if I did and like so many others I believe I would be getting my java somewhere else.