Something’s amiss in Philly

There’s are two sides to every story, but something seems amiss at a Philadelphia Starbucks where 2 Black men were handcuffed, arrested, and taken to the police station for…wait for it…sitting in their establishment without buying a cup of coffee.


Check out the STORY

And the Philly Police Chief is playing street lawyer with his statement. Last time I checked police officers have discretion regarding making arrests and it seems to me they used theirs in the wrong manner. To me, the officers should have left it alone. All the while, videos (and eyewitness accounts) show the 2 men were quiet and not causing any disturbances.

Can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen in Starbucks and not buying anything.


10 responses to “Something’s amiss in Philly”

  1. Hali Nichols says:

    This story is pretty bizarre. From my experience working in the public it can be very agrivating when people sit there and don’t buy anything, but it’s nit illegal. If the two men were waiting for their friend to arrive they were probably going to buy something eventually. The employees should have dug deeper before calling the police to remove these two men for wanting to use the bathroom. I understand calling the police if someone refuses to leave but this story seems to be more racially targeted.

  2. Trish Sorenson says:

    This is not racial profiling at all. This is just employees being stupid and thinking that people were around for too long. It is completely on the employees that overstepped, but to make this a racial issue is ridiculous. Not everything we deal with is racial issue. Also, for the police chief to back the officers is not surprising. They are not going to admit that they were wrong. That will defeat their purpose and allow people to ridicule them. Overall, this is just a weird case altogether.

  3. Kazmarae Tyson says:

    This story irritates me because people sit in Starbucks all the time. Literally just to use their Wifi. It is not illegal to sit there and not purchase anything and I feel they just jumped to conclusions for why the two men were there because they grew impatient. But I feel it should have not been a bother if the men were not causing any chaos or being disruptive. In my opinion, because I have seen and read too many stories is that this was racially motivated. There was no need for an arrest and lets be real here… if it were two white males in the same circumstances, they more than likely would have been left alone. That is just my thoughts.

  4. Jonathan MacMartin says:

    I buy and sell a lot of products on Craigslist. I always make sure to meet the buyer/seller in a public place. A lot of times that place has been the local Starbucks. I don’t drink coffee because it makes me way to jittery. In order to waste time I usually play on my phone until the other person arrives. Sometimes this can take as long as a half hour if someone is running late. I have never had a single Starbucks employee question me when I am waiting for a potential buyer or seller. They have never asked me to buy something or even asked how long I would be waiting. I doubt that Starbucks even has an antiloitering policy. What this situation boiled down to was a group of racist employees or a racist manager. I do not think this would have happened if those two men were white. This is a sad and interesting event because you do not get to see a lot of blatant racism like this anymore. I wonder what kind of backlash Starbucks has received. I saw a few videos of protests outside of this particular location and the CEO even promised a face to face apology, but I wonder if they will have to face any legal charges due to this incident. I do have to say I feel some empathy for the cops. Those employees put them in a terrible situation. Those officers probably did what they thought would cause the least amount of unrest. What other choice did they have? Should they have left those two men in there after the employees tried to call the cops on them? The cops should have never been called in the first place but once they arrived they had an obligation to make sure this conflict resolved civilly.

  5. Zachary Jahnke says:

    I thought this story was shocking. The fact that they were arrested for just sitting there is unacceptable. I don’t know know if it was for their skin color but being asked to leave for not causing any problem is intolerable. I’m glad that there were no charges pressed and that the company did apologize. I thought the CEO wanting to meet face to face for an apology shows a lot of respect and on how sorry he is. Hopefully in the near future other companies will not have these sort of issues.

  6. Gracie Blechl says:

    There isn’t enough information for me to formulate a conclusion to who was more in the right. Was there an enticing incident prior to the call that led to the arrest? Was it two white officers arresting the two black civilians? Did the police officers jump to arrest the two men or interview them when they reached the scene? I feel like people are very quick to jump to conclusions and the only reason this arrest was the most popular of the day was because race was brought into it. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying the arresting officers had race on their mind because there are corrupt cops, but the media and community members could be blowing the situation out of proportion. None the less, if the men were waiting for their friend then it was right of them not to order anything until their friend got there. That said it’s partially Starbucks’s fault because they didn’t ask the men if they were going to order anything before they called the authorities, if it was even an employee who called. I work at a local coffee shop and it would’ve bothered me if someone loitered but I could just ask them to leave and go across the street to a library or something.

  7. Kaleigh Cleaveland says:

    As with many construed racially motivated incidents that are highlighted on social media, I believe this is just another case of it. I find it odd that the police would be called simply for two men sitting in a restaurant waiting for a friend. I think this falls down more onto the combination of the employee who called and the police officers’ decision to take the men as being done with poor judgment. If they weren’t causing a problem and were honestly waiting for a friend, I don’t see an issue with their being there. The constant rush to consider this a racial profiling concern is more concerning than this specific case.

  8. Heejung Moon says:

    I do not believe that there is enough information to blame just one party in this case. However, it does seemed like the Starbucks employees were impatient and did not know to handle the situation well. I get that two men did not order anything and were just sitting inside the shop. But, they have mentioned that they were waiting for their friends. So most probably they were going to order something after their friend arrives or just leave soon anyways. From my experience of working at a coffee shop, there were some cases like this, but we never call the police because, literally, it is not a big deal. Some people come in just to use the bathroom, WiFi or even to avoid rain. Yes, it can be annoying to the employees and other customers who are sitting in there after buying something to stay inside the shop. Nonetheless, was is really a case to call the police? I personally would not. Honestly, in my opinion, maybe, they would not have called the police if there were two white males saying they are waiting for their friend to arrive.

  9. Gina Gorman says:

    I’m on the fence about this situation. I understand that businesses have rules against being in their establishments without ordering anything. I find it hard to believe that Starbucks is the exception to this when McDonalds strictly enforces this rule. I know a 91 year-old man who ate breakfast at McDonalds with his friends everyday for 15 years and after they ate they stayed and played cards. One morning, McDonalds had a change of heart about them staying there and told them they weren’t allowed to carry on their 15 year tradition. Ridiculous if you ask me. Regarding the two men in Philadelphia, should they have left when asked? Probably. Was arresting them excessive? Absolutely.

  10. Maddie Vavrik says:

    In a way, yes I think that the police officer’s were right for doing their job, but I feel like this was a situation that should not have happened. There are many times where I have gone to public places before and not ordered anything or to use the restroom. Especially Starbucks, there are many students that go there to work on homework, including myself, and there’s plenty of times where I don’t order anything or my friends don’t order anything, and if we do, its something very small and later on. So, what these men were doing was very typical and they were not doing anything wrong or causing a commotion and I really do believe this was a problem of race.

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