Starbucks Arrest: A Case of Racial Profiling
Two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks after the manager called 911. The men had scheduled a business meeting there. One of them asked to use the bathroom but was told they were for paying customers only. The man left it at that and went back to the table with his partner. A few minutes later, police arrived and took them away in handcuffs. There is not a single witness that said the men were misbehaving in any way. This appears to be a case of racial profiling.
The representing attorney, Stewart Cohen, approached Starbucks and suggested mediation with a retired federal judge in Philadelphia. The mediation process is confidential.
Results of Case
A settlement was reached between Robinson and Nelson and the City of Philadelphia for $1 each. They also partnered with the City of Philadelphia and a non-profit to fund a $200,000 grant to help future entrepreneurs from Philadelphia High Schools. Neither will benefit personally from this plan, as the grant will not be extended to them. The creation of the fund is symbolic, to bridge the racial gap in Philadelphia. Robinson said, “We thought long and hard about it and we feel like this is the best way to see that change that we want to see.”
Robinson and Nelson also received an undisclosed amount from Starbucks and were extended an offer to complete their education through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan. Starbucks CEO, Kevin Johnson, publicly apologized and announced that on May 29, his stores would close so every employee could receive racial bias training.