THE Starbucks manager who sparked a race row by calling the cops on two black men waiting for allegedly “trespassing” is “no longer working there”, reports claim.
Activists called for a global boycott of the coffee giant after mobile phone footage appeared to show the men, who were waiting on a friend, being handcuffed and frogmarched out of the Philadelphia store.
A Starbucks representative told several media outlets, including ABC, the female manager had left the downtown store in what was a “mutual decision”.
As protests at the outlet continue, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said he wants to meet the men to offer a face-to-face apology.
Johnson, who has called the arrests “reprehensible,” arrived in Philadelphia this weekend after video of the incident gained traction online.
A company spokesman said the men have agreed to a meeting with Johnson, but it was not immediately known when it would take place.
Stewart Cohen, the lawyer for the two men, said he hopes “something productive for the community” can come out of such a meeting.
The incident is a major blow to Starbucks’ image, since the company has promoted its coffee shops as neighborhood hangouts where anyone is welcome.
On Monday morning, around two dozen protesters took over the Philadelphia shop, chanting slogans including, “a whole lot of racism, a whole lot of crap, Starbucks coffee is anti-black”.
A Starbucks regional vice president who attempted to talk to the protesters was shouted down.
“We don’t want this Starbucks to make any money today. That’s our goal,” said Abdul-Aliy Muhammad, a protester and co-founder of the Black and Brown Workers Collective.
Over the weekend, demonstrators called for the firing of the employee who contacted police, who arrested the men on Thursday.
Outraged customers took to Twitter with the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks as they accused the chain’s employees of racially profiling the men who were waiting for a friend in store.
One tweeted: “Dear Starbucks, Calling the police to arrest two black guys just for being there is not an ‘incident’.
“It’s racism at its ugliest level. And it should have no place in America. Sincerely, #BoycottStarbucks.”
Actor Wendell Pierce – who works alongside royal bride-to-be Meghan Markle in US drama Suits – also waded in calling for customers to take their money elsewhere amid the race storm.
Police officers speak to customers as the two men are handcuffed[/caption]
Starbucks has since apologised for the incident and the boss of Starbucks says he wants to personally say sorry to the two men, who have now been released.
Police said Starbucks employees called to say the men were trespassing but the footage sparked accusations of racism on social media.
Melissa DePino, who filmed the footage on her phone, posted her own version of events on Twitter, wrote: “The police were called because these men hadn’t ordered anything.
“They were waiting for a friend to show up, who did. They were taken out in handcuffs for doing nothing. All the white people are wondering why its never happened to us when we do the same thing.”
Cops stormed into a Starbucks shop in Philadelphia, US, after an employee called to say the men were trespassing[/caption]
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson says he wants to personally apologise to the men face-to-face and said the chain ‘stands firmly against discrimination or racial profiling’[/caption]
Chief exec Kevin Johnson said the firm “stands firmly against discrimination or racial profiling” and wants to meet the men to offer a “face-to-face apology”.
Cops were told they asked to use the restroom but were denied as they had not bought anything.
The district attorney’s office said the pair were released because of lack of evidence of a crime.
In a lengthy statement posted on Starbucks’ website, Mr Johnson said the situation was “disheartening” and led a “reprehensible” outcome.
And he promised to make “necessary” changes to the firm’s “practices”.
He added that it was “wrong” for the store to call police, saying: “You should expect more from us.”
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