Philadelphia Starbucks Manager Who Called Police on 2 Black Men Decides to Leave Company in ‘Mutual’ Decision: Report

Illustration for article titled Philadelphia Starbucks Manager Who Called Police on 2 Black Men Decides to Leave Company in ‘Mutual’ Decision: Report
Photo: Joe Raedle (Getty Images)

Updated Monday, April 16, 2018, 12:41 p.m. EDT: Well, well, well. Despite calls for the Starbucks manager to be fired after calling the police on two black men simply for standing there, it looks as if the still-unidentified employee will be able to part ways with the company in what a Starbucks spokesperson referred to as a “mutual” decision.


According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the manager of the Philly establishment on 18th and Spruce streets has left the company, as Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson reiterated his apologies on Monday for the men’s arrests.

Even as Johnson made an appearance on Good Morning America from Philadelphia, once again saying that he hopes to meet with the men face-to-face to personally apologize, protesters continued to occupy the Center City Starbucks demanding justice.

Dozens of protesters packed into the store chanting, “Starbucks coffee is anti-black,” among other slogans.

“No-cop zone, no-cop zone, they know better,” the protesters chanted. “No good cops in a racist system.”

On Sunday, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross defended his officers for taking the men away in handcuffs, despite the fact that they were literally doing nothing.


“The police did not just happen upon this event, they did not just walk into Starbucks to get a coffee,” he said in a Facebook video. “They were called there, for a service, and that service had to do with quelling a disturbance, a disturbance that had to do with trespassing.”


Ross insisted that his officers “followed policy,” adding that he makes sure that officers receive “implicit bias training.”

As for Starbucks, despite letting the manager completely walk away seemingly unscathed from the incident, its CEO is still insisting that the now-ex-manager’s actions were reprehensible.


“The circumstances surrounding the incident and the outcome in our store on Thursday were reprehensible. They were wrong,” Johnson said. “For that, I personally apologize to the two gentlemen that visited out store.”

“In watching the video, it was painful,” he added, noting that managers will receive “unconscious bias” training. “It is my responsibility to ensure that we do a complete review and to make sure we understand how this could ever happen.”



Organizers in Philadelphia have called for protests to start at 7 a.m. Monday outside the Starbucks store where two black men were arrested for seemingly just existing.


As the Associated Press notes, over the weekend, protesters called for the arrest of the employee who unnecessarily involved the police, who, in turn, then arrested the men. And if you for some reason happen to set foot into that particular establishment during the usual Monday-morning rush hour, you’ll likely find protesters once again calling for justice on behalf of the men.

Police still have not released the name of the two men who were arrested, but a spokesperson for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office confirmed that the men were ultimately released due to “lack of evidence” that a crime had been committed. (No shit, Sherlock.)


Since the situation occurred, Starbucks’ CEO, Kevin Johnson, has openly called the incident “reprehensible,” adding that he wants to meet with the two men.

In a statement, Johnson said:

We have immediately begun a thorough investigation of our practices. In addition to our own review, we will work with outside experts and community leaders to understand and adopt best practices. The video shot by customers is very hard to watch and the actions in it are not representative of our Starbucks mission and values. Creating an environment that is both safe and welcoming for everyone is paramount for every store. Regretfully, our practices and training led to a bad outcome—the basis for the call to the Philadelphia Police Department was wrong. Our store manager never intended for these men to be arrested and this should never have escalated as it did.

News Editor at The Root, animation nerd, soca junkie, yogi



The manager was wrong to call the cops, but I am super pissed at the cops for arresting these men. I’m real sick of police acting like they work for corporations. Starbucks wants to kick out people who are waiting for their friend when 90% of being a coffee shop is having people loiter around pretending to write screenplays? They can hire a fucking bouncer on their own damn dime. The ONE cop it should have taken to respond to this call (seriously, is it always protocol for half the precinct to show up for a trespassing call or just when the people involved are black?) should have seen that there was no violence or disturbance and told the manager to deal with it themselves and not make dumbass 911 calls for things that are not an emergency.