Police apologize to two black men arrested at Starbucks

Lloyd Doyle
April 20, 2018

"I can appreciate, in light of the Starbucks policy and how well known it is to many, why these two men were appalled when asked to leave and for this reason, me, I apologize to them", Ross told reporters.

For the initiative, Starbucks will be working with Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative; Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; Heather McGhee, president of Demos; former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder; and Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League.

"I think the response has been textbook flawless", crisis management consultant Jonathan Bernstein told Moneyish.

Since his post, Ross, who is black, apologized for his previous choice of wording and for not being aware of the "Starbucks business model", or the "well-known fact [that] people spend long hours at Starbucks and are not necessarily expected to make a purchase".

The case, a classic example of racial and ethnic discrimination, followed a massive uproar as protestors demanded that the store be shut down, which eventually led the company's CEO and Chairman to fly to Philadelphia to handle matters. "How many companies do that?" he told Moneyish. "Starbucks, they talk a good game", he said of Schultz's plans.

Robinson said the pair were not asked any questions or read any rights, before being handcuffed, escorted out, and put into the cop vehicle. He said the company is looking "at all aspects of this", from training to company policy.

It seems like a common and unfortunately effective strategy to use minority spokespersons to perpetuate racism against their own people.

The issue, of course, is racial bias - a complex, systemic problem that some observers said an afternoon of diversity training would do little to change, however well-intentioned or informed it may be.

"It's unfortunate, but I feel joy because he handled the situation in the correct way", said Ransom, also a member of Omega. A study a year ago by Case Western professor Cassi Pittman found that such practices require black shoppers to navigate being seen as a threat to avoid harassment, humiliation or harm. Nelson went to Richard Allen Preparatory Charter School but played for the now-closed George Pepper Middle School, Gossett said. "This is a people thing".

Sadly, it's almost impossible to convince some people that implicit bias - or just flat-out bias - has an impact on the way people are treated. It happens when minority customers are treated differently than white customers through a variety of indignities and slights, such as being refused service, falsely accused of shoplifting or reported to security or police over something mundane. "There's some sense of betrayal", Marzilli said. "Give them the tools and the resources to help them behave the way they want, and then reward them when they do that".

Ross also noted that the officers may have been told that they didn't know what they were doing because they are "only $45,000-a-year employees". He goes on record saying that while he believes the officers were professional in their conduct, the two Black men responded by "giving the opposite [behavior] back." . "When there is more discretion, when there's ambiguity, that's when these types of biases are more likely to impact people's decision-making", she said. A statement of Starbucks explained that they are taking steps for preventing discrimination in the coffee chain business.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article