PHILADELPHIA - Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson met Monday with two black men who were arrested after an employee at one of the company’s Philadelphia locations called 911 to say they were trespassing, according to multiple reports.
A Starbucks spokesperson told CNN that Johnson apologized to the men, who were arrested Thursday at the Starbucks at 18th and Spruce streets. The spokesperson declined to elaborate on what took place during the meeting.
Police arrested the men after employees said they were denied the use of the store’s bathroom and refused to leave, police Commissioner Richard Ross said Saturday. The incident raised questions of racial bias after video of the encounter was posted to social media.
Johnson apologized for the incident in a statement Saturday and pledged to investigate. He said Monday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that hoped to meet with the men, who have not been identified.
"I'd like to have a dialogue with them so that I can ensure that we have opportunity to really understand the situation and show some compassion and empathy for the experience they went through," Johnson said. "Finally, as we're working to solve this, I'd like to invite them to join me in finding a constructive way to solve this issue."
FULL INTERVIEW: "I personally apologize..." Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson one-on-one with @RobinRoberts in his first interview after two black men were handcuffed at a Philadelphia store.— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 16, 2018
FULL STORY: https://t.co/4CL5j2lPL7 pic.twitter.com/AVnguPqAxa
A Starbucks spokesperson told CNN on Monday that the men had agreed to meet with Johnson.
About two dozen people protested at the Starbucks location Monday morning, standing by the counter and chanting “Starbucks coffee is anti-black,” according to The Associated Press. More than 100 people protested outside the shop Sunday, calling for the manager’s dismissal.
The manager, who was not identified, has left the company, officials said Monday. A company spokeswoman told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the decision was “mutual.”
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