Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross is standing by the officers caught on video arresting two black men inside a downtown Starbucks. The video, which went viral on social media, has sparked passionate debate about racism in 2018.
Ross, who is black, said the cops involved “did absolutely nothing wrong” and behaved professionally “but got the opposite back.”
“As an African American male, I am very aware of implicit bias; we are committed to fair and unbiased policing,” Ross said. “If a business calls and they say that ‘Someone is here that I no longer wish to be in my business’ (officers) now have a legal obligation to carry out their duties and they did just that.”
@Starbucks The police were called because these men hadn’t ordered anything. They were waiting for a friend to show up, who did as they were taken out in handcuffs for doing nothing. All the other white ppl are wondering why it’s never happened to us when we do the same thing. pic.twitter.com/0U4Pzs55Ci
— Melissa DePino (@missydepino) April 12, 2018
Last Thursday (April 12) a Starbucks employee called 911 and said the men were trespassing. The employee continued and said the men came in and asked to use the restroom, but he denied their request because they didn’t purchase anything and they refused to leave.
Since then, Starbucks took to Twitter Saturday (April 14) to issue an apology and announce a review of their polices. “We take these matters seriously and clearly have more work to do when it comes to how we handle incidents in our store,” the company said in a statement Saturday afternoon.
Attorney Lauren Wimmer spoke with the Philadelphia Inquirer and said the two black men arrested were later released due to a “lack of evidence” that a crime had been committed.