Two Black Men Were Arrested In A Starbucks For Doing Something You Probably Do Every Day

On Thursday, a story about two men being arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks went viral online for a very important reason–the two men were doing nothing wrong.
According to reports, two black men were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks location for not ordering anything right away. Reports indicate that both men said they were “waiting for their third friend to arrive” before ordering. The manager of the Starbucks had asked them to leave, but when they did not, she called the police.

According to the video that went viral online, witnesses said the two men did “nothing wrong.” They had used the bathroom in the Starbucks location while waiting for their friend but did not order anything–waiting for their friend to arrive.

According to BuzzFeed, the men arrested were meeting Andrew Yaffe, the white man in the video asking police questions. Yaffe runs a real estate development, investment, and management firm and they were meeting to discuss “potential residential and commercial real estate opportunities in Philadelphia.” Yaffe called his friend and lawyer, Lauren A. Wimmer, who is now representing both men. She said in a tweet:

Starbucks issued a public statement on their Twitter account saying:

Police Commissioner Richard Ross, however, supported the arrests and claimed his men did “nothing wrong.”

Starbucks said that according to their company policy, they do not allow non-payingg members of the public to come in and use the restroom. Police asked the men to leave the Starbucks three times, he added, and they were arrested when they refused to do so.

Police had legal standing to make this arrest. In short, these officers did absolutely nothing wrong.”

I will say that as an African-American male, I am very aware of implicit bias. We are committed to fair, unbiased policing, and anything less than that will not be tolerated in this department.”

Twitter, however, has begun a campaign to boycott Starbucks after the manager thought it was appropriate to call the police and have them arrested. It’s true that many of us go to coffee shops to work, meet friends, or have meetings and many of us do wait on our friends or business partners until we order–our of respect. This situation was no different.