A reprehensible outcome

The CEO of Starbucks has apologized.

The men, who have not been identified, were arrested on suspicion of trespassing. But Starbucks did not want to press charges and the men were later released, Commissioner Richard Ross Jr. of the Philadelphia Police Department said in a recorded statement on Saturday.

They were released at 1:30 in the morning. I think the arrest was about 5 p.m. – so that’s 8.5 hours sitting in jail.

The company apologized on Twitter Saturday afternoon. Later that day, while the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks was trending on Twitter, Kevin R. Johnson, the chief executive of Starbucks, released a statement in which he called the situation a “reprehensible outcome.”

Mr. Johnson said he hoped to meet them in person to offer a “face-to-face apology.”

He also pledged to investigate, and to “make any necessary changes to our practices that would help prevent such an occurrence from ever happening again.”

The thing is…if it were a regular restaurant with a high turnover, you can see why managers would ask people to leave if they’re not going to order anything. But Starbucks obviously has a de facto (at least) policy of allowing people to treat it as a living room and/or meeting place. People hang out there for hours. Everybody knows that. Singling out these two guys because oh noes they’re not white…it just doesn’t cut it.

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