The reactions to the video were quite strong and a few people were quick to condemn the arrests.
"The two young men politely asked why they were being told to leave and were not given a reason other than the manager wanted them to leave", she told ABC in an email.
'According to employees they had seen the two males come in, they sat down, and after being seated they decided they needed to use the restroom. Ross said one of the men was denied access to the bathroom because he wasn't a paying customer, which is the store's policy.
"They didn't do anything wrong", a woman in the background said.
"What did they get called for?" he asked. He added even though the employees asked them to leave, the men refused to do so.
This attempt to spin the situation is unconvincing. "They did a service that they were called to do", said Police Commissioner Richard Ross. He noted that the omnipresent coffee shops are known for being community hubs of people who do not necessarily buy anything, suggesting that the manager's actions may have been motivated by race. They may leave restroom doors unlocked or add key code entries if they feel the store is more at risk for criminal behavior.
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Real Madrid, years ago, lost [five] games in a row and didn't win the league. To be there each day is probably the most troublesome factor and we did it.
Ross' defense of his officers rests entirely on the legitimacy of this premise, but as he continues his explanation in the video, it becomes even less believable. Leftists howling that Starbucks discriminated contributes to the fatigue of the public on this issue, doing a potential disservice to those who actually suffer actual discrimination.
Another voice can be heard saying, "They didn't do anything". The officers involved in Thursday's did not have cameras on, he said. Ross said police on the scene, "in an effort to quell the situation, called for a supervisor" to keep things from getting "out of hand". "And they did just that", Ross said.
He explained that the officers "did nothing wrong" and were professional in their behavior supporting those but "acquired the opposite back". He explained that a business can kick out a customer at any time for trespassing and the police were right to blindly follow through on Starbucks' request.
Starbucks faced intense backlash on Saturday after a viral video showed police arresting two black men in a Philadelphia store, while bystanders argued the men "didn't do anything". She also confirmed that many others in the store had been sitting there for hours without purchasing anything but were not confronted by any employees. It's unclear if Ross' video speaks to the full results of that investigation.
Jim Kenney, the mayor of Philadelphia, blamed Starbucks, saying that the episode "appears to exemplify what racial discrimination looks like in 2018". "Like all retail establishments in our city, Starbucks should be a place where everyone is treated the same, no matter the color of their skin".
"Starbucks has issued an apology, but that is not enough", he said in a statement. "It's as if they're both thinking, 'I can't believe this is actually happening'". Social media showed a fair amount of outrage due to police seemingly being called because the two men hadn't ordered anything while waiting for a friend, as opposed to (as one tweeter pointed out) "white ppl ... wondering why it's never happened to us when we do the same thing".