‘Black Lives Matter’ protesters swarm coffee shop

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DOZENS of people showed up at the Center City cafe in Pennsylvania at noon carrying signs that read “Boycott Racist Starbucks” and “#Enough Shame On You Starbucks.”

According to the New York Post, the protest came after a video posted by writer Melissa DePino, showed two black men being handcuffed and paraded out of the shop in Philadelphia — as other customers repeatedly asked: ‘What did they do?”

Police Commissioner Richard Ross said Starbucks employees called 911 to say the men were trespassing. The men had reportedly refused to leave after being told they couldn’t use the bathroom if they didn’t buy anything — in violation of Starbucks policy.

The men had just been waiting to meet a real estate developer named Andrew Yaffe to discuss investment opportunities, their lawyer, Lauren Wimmer later told The Washington Post.

“Why would they be asked to leave?” Mr Yaffe can be heard saying in the video, which has been viewed over 8 million times. “Does anybody else think this is ridiculous?” he asks people nearby. ‘It’s absolute discrimination.”

The men, who declined to be identified, were released eight hours after their arrest because the district attorney found no evidence of a crime.

@Starbucks The police were called because these men hadn’t ordered anything. They were waiting for a friend to show up, who did as they were taken out in handcuffs for doing nothing. All the other white ppl are wondering why it’s never happened to us when we do the same thing. pic.twitter.com/0U4Pzs55Ci

— Melissa DePino (@missydepino) April 12, 2018

In a statement posted to the company’s website late Saturday, CEO Kevin Johnson apologised to the two men, calling the situation “disheartening” and “reprehensible” and saying the video is “very hard to watch”.

He also said he wanted to meet with the men to “offer a face-to-face apology”.

But protesters thought that apology came “a little too latte,” as one person’s sign read.

At one point, Black Lives Matter activist Asa Khalif led the group inside the store asking: “Should we ask the racist manager to come out?”

Starbucks regional vice president Camille Hymes came out to speak with the crowd and said the company knew people wanted the manager fired but that it took responsibility.

The protesters stayed inside for about 10 more minutes and then left peacefully, according to Philadelphia’s The Inquirer.

Separate investigations into the incident have been launched by the city’s Mayor Jim Kenney’s office, the Philadelphia Police Department and Starbucks.

Another protest called “Shut Down Starbucks” was scheduled for Monday morning and at least 180 people have RSVPed on Facebook.

Their demands include firing of the white manager who called the police and of the two cops who conducted the arrest.

This article was originally published in the New York Post and has been republished with permission.





Source link: http://www.news.com.au/world/north-america/protesters-bombard-starbucks-where-two-black-men-were-arrested/news-story/53cee9565a3f3624088e884fb378c29d

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